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NFU On The Hunt For Big Game In The Countryside

The NFU is on the hunt for big game in the British countryside with a survey of farmers to find out if there are wild cats on the loose.

NFU's members are being questioned about mysterious big cat sightings through the NFU's membership magazine, British Farmer and Grower, which has a circulation of 60,000.

It is the first time Britain's farming community has been involved in such a survey and stems from increasing reports of unidentifiable puma-like creatures roaming the fields of Britain.

Farmers are being asked to contact the British Big Cats Society, which is already conducting research among the public about sightings of unidentified creatures.

They will be encouraged to log on to the Society's website <> and fill in the online form <> on the homepage.

Farmers will be asked questions including:
* The location of the animal, the distance from which the animal was seen and the viewing conditions.
* Whether the animal was moving and what it was doing.
* The animal's colour, length and height and the length of its tail.
* Whether the animal was a recognised species such as a puma or a lynx.

NFU Deputy President Tim Bennett said: "There is anecdotal evidence amongst farmers and society at large that there are big cats roaming wild in our countryside.

"This is a serious issue for farmers who need to be aware of threats to their animals from worrying and attacks.

"But, while there are many local legends, such as the beast of Bodmin Moor, we have no firm evidence of how many instances of unidentifiable creatures there are. By being the "eyes and ears" of the countryside for the British Big Cats Society, we aim to reach a clearer picture."


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