Con­trol of roam­ing deer is up to farm­ers

DEPART­MENT RE­SPONSE SAYS FARM­ERS HAVE OP­TIONS IN CON­TROL­LING DEER

The Kerryman (North Kerry) - - NEWS - By SINEAD KELLE­HER

THE Depart­ment of Cul­ture and Her­itage has this week said that are not re­spon­si­ble for con­trol­ling red deer fol­low­ing calls from farm­ers in south Kerry last week for help.

In re­sponse to farm­ers con­cerns about roam­ing red deer dam­ag­ing prop­erty and eat­ing their grass, the Depart­ment said they do not own the deer and that is up to the farm­ers to con­trol any deer on their own lands.

“The Depart­ment does not own the deer pop­u­la­tion and that deer, al­beit larger, are like other wild an­i­mals in this coun­try. It is not the re­mit of the Depart­ment to ‘con­trol’ num­bers of wild an­i­mals in gen­eral. It is also not part of the re­mit of the Depart­ment, nor in­deed would it be gen­er­ally pos­si­ble, to cor­don deer onto spe­cific ar­eas of land and stop them roam­ing,” a Depart­ment state­ment ex­plained.

The Na­tional Parks and Wildlife Ser­vice (NPWS) who man­age Kil­lar­ney Na­tional Park, which is where the deer are com­ing from, come un­der the aus­pices of the Depart­ment of Agri­cul­ture.

The NPWS have car­ried out a cull this year on red deer in the park and will con­tinue to do so but farm­ers are re­spon­si­ble for their own lands. The Depart­ment said that farm­ers can have a deer li­cence dur­ing the open sea­son from Septem­ber 1 to the end of Fe­bru­ary.

Sec­tion 42 of the Wildlife Act al­lows for a li­cense to be ob­tained to cull deer where nec­es­sary and the Depart­ment is pro­cess­ing a num­ber of those for lo­cal farm­ers, they said.

“The con­trol of deer on pri­vate prop­erty e.g. ar­eas around Beau­fort and Tomies is the re­spon­si­bil­ity of landown­ers who, if they are in pos­ses­sion of a deer hunt­ing li­cence from the Depart­ment, can hunt deer dur­ing the Open Sea­son. Out­side the Open Sea­son they can get a Sec­tion 42 li­cense.”

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