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news & events

18 September 2020

Forestry and Land Scotland General Authorisation

We continue to be contacted regularly by members and non-members expressing dismay at FLS’s recent decision to cull red deer hinds from the beginning of September, being concerned about welfare consequences for orphaned juveniles - if these are not shot with the mother.

We must reiterate that, under the provisions of their General Authorisation, FLS are acting completely legally. BDS, however, has in the past, and currently is, exploring every opportunity to seek a review of the earliest cull date to be permitted under such authorisations. 

We argue that while perhaps the majority of young are nutritionally independent of the dam after 12 weeks, most remain socially dependent on the mother for a considerably longer period, particularly among herding species such as red deer, and thus may suffer significantly from loss of the dam. 

There is now considerable published research on both nutritional and social independence of juveniles and we are, as ever, urging the responsible authorities to review the latest research and reconsider the September start to such Authorisations.

14 September 2020

BDS Webinar: Managing Deer During C-19 - Challenges and Opportunities

Managing Deer During C-19 - Challenges and Opportunities

Wednesday 23rd September at 19.30 Streaming Live on The British Deer Society YouTube Channel.

With the continuing uncertainty of local spikes, lockdowns and second waves coupled with economic uncertainty:

How do we manage deer effectively in the coming months?

How do we need to adjust best practice to be safe?

Can cull targets be delivered?

Does the price of venison need to be pushed lower?

Do we need to educate a new market and how can we do it?

How do we ensure best practice as a Society when training is so difficult to manage?

Is the restaurant, catering and food sector market likely to resume at previous levels?

What action should the Government take?

10 September 2020

Deer Control in Scotland

The Regulation of deer control when crops are affected in Scotland since 2012.

BDS is of the opinion that there may be a need for a greater understanding of the issues of shooting at female deer in September and that we are concerned about the news that Forest & Land Scotland have advised their staff and contractors that, if acting according to Best Practice and their own judgement, they may make full use of the regulations introduced in 2012  which allow them to shoot female deer and their dependents under the General Authorisations enacted in the Wildlife and Natural Environment Act 2011, BDS appreciates that this concern is limited to the very few instances when events, unfortunately, differ from plans and that there are risks if adult females are shot in September.

We hope that those contemplating taking a shot consider carefully the Best Practice covering this situation, taking into consideration the apparent absence of obvious dependents, the visibility of the entire deer group, the correct pairing of dam and calf, and the wisdom of shooting at female deer in September.

We acknowledge that the regulations permit the shooting of female deer and their dependents from 1 September but hope that there will only be a minority interested in this practice; should they be found not adhering to Best Practice, or even potentially abusing welfare aspects, they should be reported for such activity.