Deer populations are managed wherever they exist, to ensure they do not become a threat to themselves, motorists, their environment, or farming.
Uncontrolled populations quickly outstrip the resources available to them, as has tragically been seen in recent years in the Scottish Highlands.
That, however, does not mean that a culling programme that causes unnecessary distress is acceptable. Yet that is what the Wild Deer Association of Ireland has accused the National Parks and Wildlife Service of. The NPWS is involved in a cull of 80 deer in Killarney National Park. Deer are being culled at night and during a very short period.
Shooting deer at night, which is far easier than daytime stalking, brings difficulties, as wounded beasts cannot be easily recovered. So, too, does the suggestion that these animals are culled during a short period of the available season. A properly managed commercial operation, where stalking is sold and supervised, seems a practical solution that would generate revenue for the park, already facing a threat to its international status because of myriad issues.
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