Scottish deer consultation begins today

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A PUBLIC consultation begins today (Wednesday May 11) on a new code for deer management in Scotland.

Anyone with an interest in deer management is being encouraged to give feedback on the Code of Practice on Deer Management, developed by Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH).

Andrew Thin, SNH chairman, said: “Wild deer are an important part of Scotland’s ecology, economy and culture.

“Deer are managed in certain parts of Scotland to protect crops, trees and protected natural areas, as well as to reduce road accidents. Deer stalking also provides a valuable source of income to many fragile rural economies throughout Scotland.

“Balancing these different objectives presents a real challenge.”

The code supports the current voluntary approach to deer management and it’s purpose is to help all land managers and land owners to manage deer sustainably by outlining the main environmental, economic and social actions associated with deer management.

The code also sets out when SNH may intervene in deer management for the public interest.

SNH has developed the code – which arises from the Wildlife and Natural Environment (WANE) (Scotland) Act, passed by the Scottish Parliament earlier this year – with input from a range of organisations and people involved in land management.

And through public consultation, which will run until July 1, SNH hopes to hear feedback and opinions on the results.

Alastair MacGugan, SNH’s wildlife management manager, said: “I’d encourage anyone involved in managing deer to look at the code and let us know their thoughts.

“This guidance will help all of us to manage Scotland’s deer sustainably in a cooperative way – so it’s important we get input from all those involved to develop a workable and clear code.”

For more information and to respond to the consultation, visit www.snh.gov.uk/land-and-sea/managing-wildlife/managing-deer/code-of-deer-management.

Hard copies of the consultation can be supplied by contacting Scottish Natural Heritage, Deer Code Consultation, Great Glen House, Leachkin Road, Inverness, IV3 8NW.