Mooney Wednesday 26 June 2013

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Caring For Wild Animals

Please note that many species of mammals, birds, invertebrates etc... are protected under law and that, even with the best of intentions, only someone holding a relevant licence from the National Parks & Wildlife Service should attempt the care of these animals.  For full details, please click here to read the NPWS Checklist of protected & rare species in Ireland.  If you are concerned about a wild animal, please contact your local wildlife ranger - click here for details.

Events & Listings

Click here for a full list of events taking place around the country, and movies currently on release, which might be of interest to wildlife lovers!

Today on Mooney...

Today on Mooney...

Nest watch 2013 continues with the amazing kestrel... And John Lusby, from Birdwatch Ireland, has all the details.

We talk to the Irish doctor who flies off to war-torn Syria tomorrow, as part of an emergency mission with Medicins Sans Frontiers

Vet Andrew Byrne will also be on hand to field some pet queries from listeners and, Brenda meets Peter Byrne, Ireland's most romantic, and poetic, husband!

Nestwatch 2013 - Kestrels

The blue tits fledged on Monday and the Swallow left this morning but fear not nestwatch 2013 continues with Kestrels in Kildare. John Lusby, from Birdwatch Ireland, has all the details.





Medicins Sans Frontiers

Medicins Sans Frontiers

It's the last place on earth you would want to be: an intense war zone in a seemingly intractable conflict. And yet, for the civilians on the ground, the need for independent medical aid is all the more acute.

With that in mind, Medicins Sans Frontiers, or "Doctors without Borders", continues to recruit doctors from all over the world: men and women who are deeply committed and brave enough to enter these conflict zones.

One of those doctors is with me now. He's a Longford man, a young paediatrician, and he's preparing to take off for Syria tomorrow as part of an emergency medical team.

Declan Barry tells Derek more.
Phone: 01 660 3337

Irelands Most Romantic Husband

Irelands Most Romantic Husband

Brenda went to Rush County Dublin to meet Irelands most husband Peter Byrne and his wife Marie. He has written Marie over 120 love poems and keeps going...

One Dog Policy

One Dog Policy

We have heard about China’s ‘one child policy’, but did you know that if you live in Beijing or Shanghai you will also be subject to a one dog policy?

And not only one dog, but they can’t grow to over 14 inches tall, which means no Rottweilers, St. Bernard’s or Great Danes!

Controlling canine populations is a concern for authorities worldwide, for many reasons, perhaps those of human health and animal welfare being at the forefront…

Vet Andrew Byrne tells us more

Hedgerows: It is an offence to 'cut, grub, burn or otherwise destroy hedgerows on uncultivated land during the nesting season from 1 March to 31 August, subject to certain exceptions'. For more information, click here.

UPDATE: February 29th 2016 - Press Release From BirdWatch Ireland:

Putting the record straight: Dates for burning and hedge-cutting have NOT changed

BirdWatch Ireland, Ireland’s largest conservation charity, is very concerned about misinformation that is currently circulating regarding the dates within which the burning of vegetation and cutting of hedges is permitted.  It would like to remind landowners that all burning and cutting must cease on 29th February this year and that burning and cutting remains prohibited from 1st March to 31st August.

Despite attempts by the Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, Heather Humphreys T.D., to change the laws regulating these dates by introducing the Heritage Bill 2016 earlier this year, it is important to note that the proposed date changes were ultimately NOT made.  This is because the bill failed to pass through both houses of the Oireachtas before the recent dissolution of the Dáil in advance of the general election.

The laws in place governing the dates for hedge-cutting and upland burning therefore remain unchanged. The period within which cutting and burning is prohibited are set down in Section 40 of the Wildlife Act 1976 (as amended in 2000), which states that:

(a) It shall be an offence for a person to cut, grub, burn or otherwise destroy, during the period beginning on the 1st day of March and ending on the 31st day of August in any year, any vegetation growing on any land not then cultivated.
(b) It shall be an offence for a person to cut, grub, burn or otherwise destroy any vegetation growing in any hedge or ditch during the period mentioned in paragraph (a) of this subsection (above).

The existing law provides exemptions for road safety and other circumstances and should be read carefully to ensure compliance.

Section 40 of the Wildlife Act exists to protect nesting birds. Many of our upland bird species are in decline and are in danger of extinction in Ireland; amongst them is the Curlew, which has declined by 80%. Many birds which nest in hedgerows into August are also in serious decline, including the endangered Yellowhammer. The changes to the cutting and burning dates which had been proposed in the now-defunct Heritage Bill 2016 would have caused serious impacts to these birds. A petition launched by BirdWatch Ireland in conjunction with several other national conservation organisations to stop these changes attracted more than 16,200 signatures and rising.

BirdWatch Ireland would also like to advise members of the public that if they see hedges being cut or fires in the uplands on or after 1st March, such activity could be illegal.  In such cases, we would encourage people to contact the National Parks and Wildlife Service ( to report such activity.

BirdWatch Ireland warmly welcomes the demise of the Heritage Bill 2016 and sincerely hopes that any future administration will consider the importance of Ireland’s natural heritage and will not attempt to reintroduce such a flawed and damaging piece of legislation.

To contact your local wildlife ranger, click here for contact details. To read the Wildlife (Amendment) Act 2000, click here.


Please DO NOT send any live, dead or skeletal remains of any creature whatsoever to Mooney Goes Wild.

If you find an injured animal or bird, please contact the National Parks & Wildlife Service on 1890 20 20 21, or BirdWatch Ireland, on 01 281-9878, or visit


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Presenter: Derek Mooney


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