Annual Richmond Park deer cull under way
The annual cull of red hinds and fallow does is under way in London’s Richmond Park. The controversial annual exercise, which regularly draws protests, is intended to maintain a healthy and well-balanced herd.
Richmond Park is home to approximately 300 red and 350 fallow deer.
The Royal Parks, which runs Richmond Park, explained that “if animals were not removed, food would become scarce and more animals would ultimately suffer. Without population control there would be other welfare issues, such as low body fat, malnutrition and high incidence of death from exposure to cold in winter. Attempting to maintain too many deer within a restricted park area would soon lead to a build-up of parasites and other pathogens causing disease in the deer.”
Protesters have demanded that culling is replaced by the use of contraceptives. However, there are currently no hormonal contraceptives licensed for use in wild deer in the UK and nonhormonal contraceptives would require the animals to be caught and injected.
Richmond Park is home to around 300 red and 350 fallow deer