Duncan Orr-Ewing, Head of Species and Land Management for RSPB Scotland responds to Scottish Government response to Independent Deer working group.
“We welcome the Scottish Government acceptance of all of the key recommendations of the independent Deer Working Group Report for reform of deer management in Scotland. Deer are an important part of our natural heritage, however in the absence of natural predators they need to be managed by humans, and we agree that this needs to be done to a high welfare standard. We are pleased that transformational change in deer management to address both the climate and nature emergencies is at the heart of this statement, and that a modern and more flexible Deer Act will be brought forward in the next Scottish Parliament to replace the current outdated deer management legislation. The Scottish deer population is now estimated to be 1 million animals, and it is still increasing, impacting the delivery of public priorities including woodland expansion and regeneration, as well as peatland restoration. Serious human impacts are also arising including road traffic accidents and Lyme disease. The explicit recognition that deer populations and density monitoring have a vital role alongside assessing damage levels to document future progress is a major step forward. Finally, we consider that this announcement also gives considerable scope for delivering new rural employment as part of a Green Recovery”
Last Updated: Wednesday 24 March 2021