Bring your putter to the slaughter
Animal campaigners’ fury as golf club say they’ll shoot deer ruining greens
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