31 MARCH 2017
ICSA has held talks with the CEO of Coillte, Mr Fergal Leamy, to outline the difficulties Wicklow farmers are experiencing due to the ever expanding, free roaming herds of deer in the county. ICSA rural development chairman Seamus Sherlock described the talks as very productive saying “Coillte are very keen to work with ICSA and indeed gave a commitment to ICSA to find solutions to a problem that can no longer be ignored.”
ICSA has been highlighting the impossible position of farmers trying to cope with unmanageable numbers of deer rampaging through their lands, tearing down fences, eating grass and other feeds and causing unprecedented levels of TB reactors in cattle.
Mr Sherlock said “The situation has reached a tipping point and cannot be allowed to continue. Tackling the issue will involve a multi-faceted approach and will potentially involve a complete overhaul of how these lands are managed by Coillte and the National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS).”
Local land owner and ICSA Wicklow representative Tom Stephenson said he can no longer afford to feed wild deer. “We’re trying to make a living with our hands are completely tied. It’s costing us money that we don’t have and causing no end havoc on our farms. A solution must be found.”
ICSA is meeting with the NWPS on Monday 3 April in Wicklow and will continue to engage with all stakeholders to find a satisfactory resolution for our members and all farmers affected.