Bring your put­ter to the slaugh­ter

An­i­mal cam­paign­ers’ fury as golf club say they’ll shoot deer ru­in­ing greens

Sunday Mail (UK) - - News -

Nor­man Sil­vester One of the coun­try’s most pres­ti­gious nine- hole golf clubs have been crit­i­cised over plans to slaugh­ter deer that nib­ble their greens.

Tober­mory golf course, on the Isle of Mull, has at­tracted play­ers from all over the world to its lush fair­ways, in­clud­ing US leg­end Tom Watson.

But growth in the Tober­mory deer pop­u­la­tion has meant scores of the an­i­mals have been go­ing on to the course to feed at night.

Now the club have an­nounced plans to start shoot­ing to stop them in­vad­ing the greens.

The move has been strongly crit­i­cised by an­i­mal rights groups and res­i­dents.

Cam­paign­ers Peta de­scribed the plans as shame­ful.

Di­rec­tor Elisa Allen said: “Not only is this cruel, it’s also in­ef­fec­tive. Deer reg­u­late their numbers ac­cord­ing to avail­able food, wa­ter and shel­ter.

“How ut­terly shame­ful it is that this enterprise – built by seiz­ing the nat­u­ral habi­tat of deer and other wildlife – wish now to kill the an­i­mals they dis­placed.

“Killing them only means that the sur­vivors will breed at higher rates to fill any gap caused by slaugh­ter, cre­at­ing a per­pet­ual killing cy­cle.

“If golfers can’t en­joy the deer and the club in­sist on re­mov­ing them, Peta will gladly point them in the di­rec­tion of hu­mane pop­u­la­tion-con­trol meth­ods.” SSPCA Chief Su­per­in­ten­dent Mike Flynn said: “We firmly be­lieve culls should only take place to pro­tect the pub­lic or for an­i­mal wel­fare rea­sons.

“We would ex­pect ev­ery al­ter­na­tive op­tion to de­ter or ex­clude deer from land to have been ex­hausted be­fore lethal ac­tion is taken.”

Tober­mory club sec­re­tary David Honey­man ma de the cu l l ing an­nounce­ment last week on an onl ine fo­rum.

He said: “There wii l l shortly be some evening ning shoot­ing on the golf course to re­move some of the deer caus­ing dam­age to the greens and course gen­er­ally.

“Signs will be dis­played at en­trances when this will oc­cur but please be aware and avoid us­ing the course dur­ing the hours of dark­ness.” Lo­cals took to the same site to voice their ob­jec­tions. Ian English said: “Culling specif­i­cally tar­geted beasts as a means to re­spon­si­ble hus­bandry is an en­tirely dif fer­ent is­sue to shoot­ing which­ever ran­dom wildlife hap­pen to be spoil­ing your game of golf. “I think the towns­folk are com­pletely jus­ti­fied in voic­ing their con­cerns. There’s prob­a­bly manym less dras­tic and less dan­ger­ous­dan­ger so­lu­tions,” Gi­naGin Keenan said: “This re­pel­srepe me. Surely there must be an­other way?” TomT Cox added: “What hap­pen­sha next week when mo­more come back? “AAre you go­ing to kill all of ththem so some old folk can knock a ball around a field?” But not ev­ery­one was against the plan. Michael Boyle said: “I’m sure these deer will be killed more hu­manely than half the an­i­mals that sup­ply the su­per­mar­ket.” Club sec­re­tary Honey­man de­clined to com­ment.

Are you go­ing to kill all the deer so some old folk can knock a ball around a field?

ROUGH JUS­TICE Tober­mory Golf Club plan to shoot deer VISIT Tom Watson, Peta’s Elisa Allen and SSPCA’s Mike Flynn

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