An illegal dump containing a large number of deer carcases has been discovered in the Wicklow mountains.
The dump was located by a local man who was walking on an estate next to Wicklow National Park.
Images provided by the Wild Deer Association of Ireland show a large number of recent and decomposed deer carcases dumped in an open shallow pit.
The dump is reportedly located near a local water source, raising concerns that it could have the potential to spread disease in the area.
A spokesman for the Wild Deer Association of Ireland said deer are being treated like vermin by some land- owners as a result of misleading statements about the animals carrying disease: “This incident highlights the level of vilification we have seen towards wild deer in the Wicklow area, where misleading statements have been made about deer and tuberculosis, resulting in deer, a protected species under our Wildlife Acts, being reduced to the level of vermin by some landowners. We strongly condemn this incident, to hunt deer in such a wantonly and wasteful manner is a crime against wildlife.”
The spokesman said the killing of deer in such a manner was contrary to best practice, where deer culling is done with regard to animal welfare and how it impacts the wider ecosystem.
“This incident is contrary to traditional and best practice deer management where venison is a highly sought after and prized meat by hunters.
In the absence of a natural predator it falls on man to manage deer numbers, reducing negative impacts on the wider ecosystem, at all times this should be undertaken with regard for animal welfare” he said.
The incident is currently being investigated by An Garda Síochána, Wicklow County Council and the National Parks and Wildlife Service.
Anyone with information on this incident should contact Roundwood Garda Station, NPWS Wicklow, or Wicklow County Council.
The discovery of the dump comes just three months after the remains of a deer carcass and a young pony were found dumped in rural South Wicklow.
On that occasion, the Wild Deer Association of Ireland said the dumping was done by poachers and said such activity was a growing problem in the Wicklow area.
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