SNH should take tougher line on deer management
SNH must take a harder line on non-cooperative landowners on deer management, the Scottish Government has urged, in order to protect habitats and help biodiversity.
An earlier report by Holyrood’s environment, climate change and land reform committee outlined changes that must be made in the way wild deer are managed, monitored and culled if Scotland is to achieve its biodiversity targets by 2020.
The report, which warned that legislation aimed at protecting the natural environment from deer impacts is not fit for purpose, found 50 per cent of deer management groups are not delivering an effective plan on the ground. MSPs also warned that SNH is failing to provide leadership in managing the damaging impact of deer.
The Scottish Government also announced it will establish an independent group to examine deer management issues and monitor progress.
Environment secretary Roseanna Cunningham said: ‘While some progress has been made in the management of our wild deer following recent changes to legislation and through the work of the Association of Deer Management Groups, we know further improvements are needed to minimise the costs of deer road vehicle collisions and replacing fencing, as well as reducing the environmental impact. By setting up an independent group on deer management, encouraging SNH to use their full range of powers and improving deer management plans, we hope to address the main challenges and ensure we protect our environment and the interests of the public, as well as support the rural economy.’
The move was welcomed by the Scottish Gamekeepers’ Association.