More emphasis needed on culling female deer – IFA

At a meeting in Co.Mayo this week,it was highlighted that there needs to be a greater emphasis on culling female wild deer rather than males,in efforts to control the population in the region.

The meeting was organised by the Irish Farmers' Association (IFA),and held in the village of Paltry,between Castlebar and Ballinrobe.

The organisers said that the purpose of the meeting was to address "the menace the deer population has created,with damage to farm fencing;grazing of grassland;and damage to agricultural crops".

The meeting was addressed by members of the IFA and the local gun club,as well as a representative from the National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS).

Denis Strong,the representative from NPWS,told the meeting that licenced shooters should be focusing on culling females rather than prize stag males.

Strong urged farmers who allow licenced,specialised shooters on their lands to demand that shooters cull a higher percentage of females.

Members of the local gun club,who have been active in a culling programme that was established over 10 years ago,echoed this message,highlighting that female deer outnumber males seven to one in the area,and that more females need to be culled if the population is to be reduced.

Martin Gilvarry,the chairperson of the IFA in Mayo,said it would take "serious work and co-operation with landowners,the local Gun Club and specialised shooters to reduce numbers in the region".

Gilvarry also called on the NPWS,with further support from the IFA,to seek a ‘Section 42' pilot area which would allow out-of-season culling to take place.

A further meeting is planned for August to advance the programme.