Culling Scotland’s female deer can improve road safety and provide food

Roe deer need to be culled in Scotland for the public's safety and to provide venison
Roe deer need to be culled in Scotland for the public’s safety and to provide venison

The Scottish Gamekeepers Association (SGA) is arguing that humanely culling female dear within season has been identified as a key way to reduce overall populations of the animal. And the SGA wants the burgeoning population of deer in Scotland to be better utilised to provide food for humans while at the same time protecting people from accidents as deer wonder onto the road causing almost 2000 vehicle collisions with deer annually.

There are more carriageway collisions these days which means more insurance bills and the greater danger to safety. David Quarrell, an urban deer manager and member of the SGA Deer Group said:

“If you journey in your car around the major cities [in Scotland] now, the chances are you will see roe deer. They are drawn to areas like roadside verges. There are more carriageway collisions, which means more insurance bills and a greater danger to public safety. That now needs to be addressed and with a small amount of targeted investment, there could be a disproportionate benefit for people, biodiversity and for the deer themselves.”

The SGA has written to the government about a pilot scheme they have devised and in which they’ve identified two zones around Glasgow as initial target areas.

Scotland’s wild deer population is now estimated to have doubled in the past 30 years to 1 million animals and since 2016 there have been almost 2000 vehicle collisions with deer annually as mentioned.

The SGA believe that an initial coal would take the pressure off roads and habitats and provide “high quality, low-fat roe venison”. This meat could be brought into the local food chain according to the SGA. It needs a “modest investment” by the Scottish government to create a “larder facility”. I think they mean storage facilities for the extra amount of “meat” produced. And they want “trained recreational deer managers” (in the words of the Times journalist, Lizzie Roberts), to collect the meat from an approved game meat handling establishment.

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Post Category: Deer