Good morning and welcome to The British Deer Society

news & events

13 January 2020

Changes to Firearms Law

Members should be aware that new measures regarding firearms and deactivated firearms have become effective from 12 December 2019. 

They relate to:

- responsibility for secure storage arrangements in relation to certificate holders under the age of 18. 


In essence, it is now required that where a firearm certificate holder is under the age of 18, arrangements must be made for a person aged 18 or over to assume responsibility for the secure storage of the firearms and ammunition to which the certificate relates. 

08 January 2020

Deer Faecal Sampling for Postgrad Project

Investigating the prevalence of enteric disease agents in UK deer.

A Bristol University Science Student is asking South West and West BDS branch members for help with a project, Sam says: 

There is very little data on the prevalence of diseases in UK deer. Wild deer are a known potential reservoir of transmissible diseases and antimicrobial resistance genes. More recently, farmed deer have also been implicated in outbreaks of foodborne disease. Therefore, deer do pose a risk for disease transmission of livestock and zoonotic diseases. Furthermore, wild deer may be a reservoir for diseases that pose a threat to the health of farmed deer, but it is difficult to assess the risk without knowing if these diseases are common in the wild.

This study aims to address the lack of data on enteric disease agents in the UK wild, farmed, park and zoo deer through a descriptive cross-sectional study. Disease prevalence and the presence of antimicrobial resistance genes will be identified. Management factors will also be assessed to identify any possible associations between these factors and the prevalence of disease agents.

Droppings of red deer By Robert Biedermann

18 December 2019

Government Consultation on Import and Export of Trophies

Members will be aware that the UK Government has launched a consultation on possible changes to regulations affecting the import and export of hunting trophies:

It is clear that this consultation is not about the ethics of trophy hunting per se but concentrates on the implications of trophy hunting in terms of conservation. Most of it is indeed focused on the implications of permitting 'trade' [import-export] of such trophies. It is clear however that changes to the regulations may have significant effect on the economics of many deer management programmes in this country which let some of that management cull to foreign hunters and that further, restriction of that trade might have significant implications for welfare of deer if management culls in the future were less selective or had reduced economic value.  It is probably true that if we put an economic value on something we take more care of it.

The Board has discussed a formal Society response which we will be submitting in due course, but it is apparent that many members may wish to respond to the consultation individually.  The consultation focuses on the selection of options for the future [Question 8, below]. The Board will be recommending as the first choice, option 4 [No change] and as second choice: Option 1  [A ban on trophies of certain species]. We have selected this course for the second option in order to highlight the biosecurity risk associated with the importation of trophies from certain species in relation to the possible spread of diseases of economic importance such as African Swine Fever and Chronic Wasting disease.