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Information : Deer and Shotguns

The British Deer Society released the following press release on Friday 17th of October 2008.


The British Deer Society calls for an end to the legal use of shotguns for killing deer  

Shotguns can legally be used to kill deer when they are causing direct agricultural damage as long as specified legal shot sizes are used. This provision in the various Deer Acts was made at the time with regard to farmers who had no firearms and for whom the shotgun was their weapon of choice.

The British Deer Society has completed a comprehensive study of the effects of these shotgun loads and their likelihood of a humane kill at reasonable ranges.  It has concluded that there are serious welfare issues which have become clear as a result of this work and the Board has called unanimously for a change in legislation which will only allow the use of shotguns for humane dispatch.

This call also follows suspicions of the re-emergence of the practice of driving deer, particularly Muntjac, to a line of waiting guns.  This method of deer control is illegal, causes suffering and has no place in the countryside.

The rifle, in the hands of a competent practitioner, is the clear choice for humane deer management.

The Society seeks the support of other organisations in this call and will be distributing copies of its report widely.

Copies of the report can be obtained from the British Deer Society.


Notes to editors:

1.  The BDS is a Registered Charity, formed in 1963, devoted to the welfare of the six species of wild deer in the UK and Northern Ireland.  It has over 6,500 members and supporters with wide and varied interests, but united in the common interest of deer welfare.

2.  The Society aims include the promotion of skilful and sensitive management of the deer population.

3.  The BDS conducts research and educational programmes to further the aims of the Society.

4.  For more details please contact Dave Goffin 

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