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Caithness News Bulletins January 2005

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  Deer Types In Scotland Deer Commission For Scotland

Highlands and Islands MSP Rob Gibson has welcomed the constructive and collaborative approach of the participants in the Responsible Deer Management consultation where the aim is to produce a framework on how to deal with Scotland's burgeoning deer population.

Following the passage of the Nature conservation Act last summer Mr Gibson who has worked closely with Non-Governmental Organizations, responsible estate owners and with colleagues in the Environment and Rural Development Committee in this consultation says that real and sustainable progress is being made..."Any reasonable estate owner who looks at the findings and progress of the deer management proposals contained in the motion lodged for debate in Parliament cannot help but be impressed by its approach. This why it is galling to read such nightmarish myths and lurid fantasies that are currently being pedalled by those who really should know better."

"The ideas gathered from so far protect not only the, motorists, the environment it also protects the deer themselves. The framework when completed will provide local jobs, it will allow the environment to regenerate and will reduce the number of deer that starve in the winter."

Mr Gibson highlighted the dangers of the current deer situation..."It can be only a matter of time until a motorist is killed due to the proliferation of deer throughout our country, for example when traveling South after Christmas I narrowly avoided hitting a stag on the A9 Dual Carriageway Section at Drumochter."

He lambasted recent quotes from landowners who claimed there was no need for change.... "There has been a constructive approach so far from many organisations as well as many landlords who see the need to regulate deer numbers. However again what we see and hear are irresponsible landlords who abhor any change in the management of their land and whose entrenched opinions threaten not only life, but also environmental and economic diversity which could bring much needed jobs and income to our remote and rural areas."

He finished..."This is not an attempt to get rid of all the deer in Scotland, rather it is to try and reach an balance of uses on the land a true balance of recreation, conservation as well as deer farming. A truly sustainable approach to the environment will culminate in increased jobs, opportunities and standards of living, the proposals from the Deer Management Group go some way to making this happen and should be welcomed and supported from all quarters."

Text of Nora Radcliffe motion, which Rob has supported...
S2M-2317# Nora Radcliffe (Gordon) (LD) : Responsible Deer Management- That the Parliament notes the collaborative work on responsible deer management being undertaken in Scotland and the vital role of deer management groups and their use of the Deer Commission for Scotland's best practice guidance; acknowledges the importance of culling deer using such guidance to avoid poor condition of deer in late winter and unnecessary death by starvation or as a consequence of inadequate habitat and shelter to support them; notes the support of the Scottish Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals in ensuring that culling is carried out professionally and humanely; recognises the contribution that sustainable deer management can make to sustaining rural development, with increased rural employment and public benefits such as habitat regeneration, enhanced biodiversity and reducing risk of road accidents; considers that deer management groups should take the issue forward constructively, implementing deer management planning and setting targets that can be monitored to ensure progress, and concludes that deer management groups should be supported by representation from wider public interests, including local community, recreational and conservation interests, which would be particularly useful during preparation and review of deer management plans.

Caithness has red and roe deer on estates and in forests.
For a list of the other main species of animals and birds found in Caithness Click Here