Fences for Kola Reindeer Husbandry?

April 7, 2010 • Philip BurgessBlog

In a long interview with the newspaper Vedomosti, the  new (ish) Kola Peninsula regional Governor Dmitry Dmitriyenko said that his administration plans to establish 100-200 km wide zones for reindeer herds. This will help raise productivity, the governor argues.

Today, reindeer herds migrate over major parts of the peninsula and unlike reindeer husbandry in the neighbouring Finland, fences are not widely used there.

Governor Dmitriyenko says the changing climate makes it increasingly difficult to gather the herds at slaughter time because the rivers now freeze later than before.

Although this was a small piece in a lengthy article, were such a plan to be carried out, it would dramatically alter reindeer husbandry in the region. Interestingly, the Governor identifies climate change as being the reason for the introduction of fencing while experience from Scandinavia show that fencing is more related to herd control by the authorities and reduced flexibility for herders. Fencing also has a dramatic impact on the landscape and breaks up traditional migratory patterns.

Source: Ведомости

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