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Wild Deer Management
There are six main species of deer in the United Kingdom, Red, Fallow, Sika, Roe, Muntjac and Chinese Water Deer. All six are without natural predators in the UK other than man so that unless these populations are managed and up to 25% culled each year:
- Numbers of deer will rise progressively and outstrip the available food
- Their health and vigour will inevitably deteriorate.
- Damage to crops and land will increase and become unacceptable in some areas
- Death will be by disease, starvation or injury.
There is also an increasing and ongoing risk of Road Traffic Accidents in areas where culling is not being adequately carried out.
For more information on the subject including:
The combination of shooting and hunting as practised in the West Country represents the ideal management system for deer
Ideally scent hounds should be worked through the countryside on a regular basis to detect wounded and diseased animals and to disperse concentrations of deer.
TB has now been found in five species of deer: red, sika, muntjac, roe and fallow deer. Nearly all cases were in areas where TB has been found in cattle and badgers
The majority of deer in the UK are culled by stalking and shooting
Rigorous control and supervision of stalking is essential to ensure that culling is proportionate and wounding reduced to a minimum.
- The need to manage some wildlife populations, A.McDiarmid and L.H.Thomas, November 2002
- A Veterinary Opinion on Hunting with Hounds, L.H.Thomas and W.R.Allen (2002)
- Exmoor and District Deer Management Society's submission to Burns Inquiry, February 2000 and May 2000 at: www.huntinginquiry.gov.uk
- Vets in favour of deerhunting, letter to The Times, L.H.Thomas, W.R.Allen and others, December 26, 2002
- Multiple Red deer wounding incident February 2001, In Submission to the Minister for Rural Affairs (2002) Appendix 1.
- Culling of wild red deer, letter to Veterinary Record, July 19, 2003, L.H.Thomas, W.R.Allen
- Tuberculosis in badgers; a review of the disease and its significance for other animals, J.Gallagher and R.S.Clifton-Hadley, Research in Veterinary Science, 2000, 203-217