Bane Nor should pay for dead Reindeer

Reindeer Collision Nordland killed SamiMASSIVE COLLISSION: A train passes dead reindeer that is adjacent to the railway line at Kvalforsbrua between Eiterstrøm and Mosjøen on Helgeland Saturday last week. Over 100 reindeer in the area have been hit and killed by trains in recent days. PHOTO: JOHN ERLING UTSI /, NTB SCANPIX

Bane Nor should pay for dead Reindeer

The Reindeer district in Nordland, which has lost around 135 reindeer after being hit by trains recently, believes The Railroad Company, Bane Nor, should pay for both the dead animals and expenses.

 

– To avoid collisions, Bane Nor has to provide financial support so that we have the opportunity to concentrate the reindeer near the railway, says leader in Jillen-Njaarke reindeer district, Torstein Appfjell, to VG.

He says that they have had large expenses using helicopters to concentrate the flock still located near the accident prone stretch of the Nordlandsbanen.

– It’s talk of NOK 600,000 in costs so far, and it’s only one third of the flock that has been brought to safety. Two thirds are still left behind. It will involve huge costs to gather all of them, says Appfjell.

– Soon we can have face a bill of NOK 1.5 million and then what? We will be bankrupt.

Appfjell says it is difficult now to give an exact amount that he believes Bane Nor should fork out, but that he will present a preliminary budget to the state enterprise.

– We are going to make an estimate. Reindeer husbandry also has to bear its share of operating expenses, but when it exceeds what is reasonable, I think Bane Nor is required to provide financial support.

Next week, Bane Nor will have a meeting with the reindeer owners regarding the accidents that have happenedclately. Asked about how Bane Nor meets the demands from Appfjell, Area Director Thor Brækkan answers:

– We must enter into discussions with them. We have an agreement with them today about contributions to collect using helicopters, but this we will discuss when we meet them, says Brækkan, which indicates that there is a system of compensation in place for killed animals.

More than 100 reindeer killed

Last week more than 100 reindeer were killed when a freight train hit a flock near Kvalfors south of Mosjøen on Saturday. The case got great international attention and was featured by the New York Times, The Guardian, Sky News and the news agency AP among others

Seven other collisions also occurred on the same stretch last week, according to Bane Nor. This week, another 17 reindeer were killed in a train collision between Trofors and Eiterstrøm on Helgeland, according to NRK.

In total, it is talk about 135 dead animals in the nine collisions, according to Appfjell.

On Friday, the Minister of Transport, Ketil Solvik-Olsen (Progress Party), was in an emergency meeting with Bane Nor and the Sami Council regarding the matter.

– We met an engaged Minister who was concerned by the matter, says Sami Council member, Silje Karine Muotka.

I møtet ble reineiernes utgifter et tema, forteller sametingsråd Berit Marie P.E. Eira.

– Reindeer that are run over are compensated, but it does not cover the loss. In the case of cows, they could have delivered calves for many years to come. We have explained that to them, says Eira.

Builds reindeer fence

On Thursday, Bane Nor announced that in 2018 they would start construction of a 25 kilometer long reindeer fence on the actual stretch of Nordlandsbanen.

– At the same time, we extend the fence that was made in 2015 south from Sefrivasselva to the rock works near the Sefrivat tunnel, says Vibeke Aarnes, Director of Infrastructure in Bane Nor, in a press release. The total cost of both measures is estimated at NOK 34 million.

Following the accident at Helgeland this week, Bane Nor introduced slow speed (40 kilometers per hour) on the stretch from Trofors to five kilometers south of Mosjøen. The stretch is a total of 32 kilometers. Bane Nor informs that the slow speed will be maintained until the tame Reindeer are collected and moved closer to the coast.

 

©  VG / NTB Scanpix / Norway Today

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