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DEER MANAGEMENT GROUP RECOMMENDATIONS MUST BE FOLLOWED THROUGH

Dec 7, 2023 | Latest News, Press Releases | 0 comments

ICSA Animal Health and Welfare chair Hugh Farrell has welcomed the publication of the Irish Deer Management Strategy Group’s (IDMSG) report and said its recommendations must be followed through. “This report is a positive development, not just in our battle against TB, but for tackling a huge range of problems that have emerged as a consequence of the unchecked and ever-expanding wild deer population. Uncontrolled deer growth adversely impacts biodiversity, road safety, and agriculture. It is imperative that we act on the recommendations laid out in this report,” he said.

Established in September of 2022 the IDMSG and was tasked with developing initiatives to ensure sustainable deer numbers while achieving the objectives of landowners ranging from biodiversity, forestry, agriculture, animal health and road safety. The group was chaired by independent chair Teddy Cashman, and comprised representatives from the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine (DAFM), the National Parks and Wildlife Service and Coillte. Other stakeholders, including ICSA, contributed to formation of this report through participation in stakeholder meetings and stakeholder sub-committees. Members of the public were also consulted through a formal public consultation process.

Mr Farrell said of particular importance to ICSA are measures relating to animal health. “ICSA has been participating in the TB Forum for many years now where we repeated sought to have the issue of the expanding deer population recognised as contributory factor in the spread of TB. This has been an uphill battle; however, with the Department of Agriculture finally acknowledging this link and the publication of this report we can look forward to addressing the issue constructively.”

“By addressing the challenges posed by the deer population, we can take proactive steps to safeguard the health and welfare of our livestock when it comes to TB. It will also benefit our tillage and forestry enterprises, go towards protecting biodiversity, and contribute to road safety. It is a positive for farmers and for all rural dwellers and visitors to our rural communities. It is crucial that the recommendations contained in the reported are now acted upon and that the finance necessary to implement those recommendations is provided without delay.”

Key recommendations within the report are the establishment of local deer management units in known hotspot areas, a review of the current deer Open Seasons Order and researching the viability of the development of an independent deer management agency.

ENDS

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