Sports Coalition calls for more integrated management of Ireland’s wild deer resource

With growing deer populations in many areas of the country and a growing interest in deer stalking the Sports Coalition believes the time has come for the development of a national management plan to enable the better management of Wild Deer on the Island of Ireland. All relevant statutory agencies, farming representatives and Deer Stalkers should work together to seek to balance the conservation of an important protected species with the need to protect habitats and reduce agricultural damage.

 

Key components of any management plan should include:

  1. Recognition of the important role that recreational stalkers play in humanely managing wild deer populations. The Sports Coalition believes that recreational stalker’s skills and knowledge are currently under-utilised and that a conversation should now take place around the greater involvement of recreational stalkers in the management of wild deer. The Sports Coalition believes that large scale professional culling, paid for by tax payer’s money must always be a last resort.
  2. Whilst a more integrated approach to the management of our wild deer population is developed we believe the Minister for Agriculture should allocate a fund to compensate farmers and landowners for damage created by wild deer. This fund will allow the important consultation process with all parties to take place without the background of financial loss to farmers and landowners.

 

Sports Coalition Chairman Paul Walsh commented, “In recent times there has been a number of articles in the press in relation to wild deer in Ireland. We have read about diseases and damage caused by deer. We have read about the damage done to landowners, crops and livestock resulting in financial losses for farmers and landowners. We have seen advertisements for large scale professional culls in some areas. We have heard almost daily allegations of illegal hunting of deer. What we have not heard are any substantive or coherent proposals to address any of these issues.

 

We now call upon the Minister for Agriculture, to immediately set aside an emergency fund, to compensate farmers and landowners for damage caused by Wild Deer. This fund will allow all stakeholders to come to the table for talks concentrating on the welfare of Irish Deer and farmers alike.