83% of farmers say they should be allowed to shoot deer without a licence

Some 83% of respondents to an Agriland poll have said that farmers should be allowed to shoot deer on their land without a licence.

The issue of deer encroaching onto farmers’ lands has been highlighted in the media of late, following comments made at a Cavan County Council meeting.

Earlier this week, Cavan Councillor Winston Bennett said that farmers should be allowed to shoot deer on their own lands, but only where deer are causing a menace to farmers.

The range of problems associated with deer, including the spread of TB, was brought up at the council meeting, where Bennett was speaking.

“Where deer are causing a menace to farmers on their own lands, like when a dog is worrying sheep, they should be allowed to be shot,” he told Agriland.

deer poll

In response to the Councillor’s comments, John Carmody of the the Animal Rights Action Network (ARAN) said that “if deer are breeding and problems are arising then farmers should be looking at neutering the deer and relocating some of the animals so that no one has to lose their life”.

“Just when we thought that local councillors couldn’t come out with any more short-sighted comments about animals, we now hear of Councillor Winston Bennett advocating a failed concept and idea of wildlife management through being gunned down – we’ve got enough of that carry on in society as is.”

ARAN stands ready to assist the farmers to prevent any deer being killed and that the gun is kept away from these highly intelligent creatures that captivate the delight of many wildlife enthusiasts.

“We must stop thinking that for every reported case of wildlife overpopulation that killing them solves the problem, it doesn’t.”

Under the law, deer can only be hunted in Ireland with a licence and the penalties for hunting deer without a licence can include fines and/or imprisonment, or both.

In 2015, the Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht issued over 4,600 deer hunting licences in 2015.

To date this year, the Department has received almost 1,400 deer hunting applications.