Wild deer are put down after falling ill
A NUMBER of Lyme Park’s fallow deer have had to be put down after falling ill.
Up to 100 wild deer have either died or have had to be euthanised since last winter, after succumbing to an infection caused by a parasite which attacks the liver.
The affected animals are a breed of fallow deer.
The park’s 380 red deer meanwhile, which have been at the park as a herd for more than 600 years, are not affected and are continuing the thrive.
The National Trust, which runs the park, says that unlike the red deer, the fallow deer were not particularly well suited to Lyme’s environment and succumbed to the infection over time.
The park says it has been steadily reducing its wild fallow deer herd since last winter, in response to expert advice.
A National Trust spokeswoman said: “We manage numbers of wild deer to keep the wild herds healthy - but in this case, regular veterinary check-ups as part of this programme revealed that the health of the fallow deer herd had deteriorated.
“Veterinary inspections concluded that there was a vulnerability to the health and wellbeing of these wild fallow deer.
“Having considered all other options, we reluctantly accepted the only course of action was to remove the deer from the site in as appropriate and humane a way as possible.
“Our primary concern at Lyme is to ensure our deer herds are in a healthy condition, and to continuously monitor and maintain healthy stock. We continue to regularly take veterinary advice in the care of our deer to ensure these beautiful animals remain a part of Lyme’s history and landscape.”
●● Up to 100 fallow deer in Lyme Park have either died or been put down