Animal Health

Deer Management Group’s Report Signals Progress in Dealing with Problem

IFA Animal Health Chairman TJ Maher has acknowledged the progress being made in controlling wild deer populations following the publication of the Irish Deer Management Strategy Group`s report.

The group was set up to lead the development of a renewed vision and strategy for the management of wild deer in Ireland.

The report recognises that deer densities in Wicklow in particular, but also in parts of Tipperary, Galway, Waterford and Donegal are above a sustainable level and that the wild deer are highly damaging to their surrounding environment. It is widely accepted that deer numbers have risen significantly in recent years, exacerbated by the reduction in hunting and deer management during the Covid pandemic.

“The overpopulation of wild deer has impacted farming, forestry, biodiversity, not to mention the role wild deer in circulating TB amongst the bovine herd. All of this has resulted in significant financial strain and stress for farmers and landowners. The development of the report involved a thorough process, including significant consultation with the IFA,” he said.

TJ Maher said he’s encouraged by progress that has been made so far and is impressed by the Department’s commitment to it.

However, he added that the growing deer population is a considerable problem and it`s very important that the actions recommended in the report are implemented immediately in the new year.

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