Tuesday, March 11, 2008

SCOTLAND NEWS: Animal Rights Group Objects to Island of Rum Red Deer Cull

ANIMAL rights activists have attacked Scottish Natural Heritage over a plan to have commercial shooting parties kill deer on a national nature reserve.

The environment quango carries out an annual "maintenance cull" of about 100 of the 1,200 red deer on the island of Rum, which it owns.

However, it is now offering the chance for a qualified stalker to take clients to the island to shoot 40 red deer stags. It is also inviting suggestions as to how a cull of about 50-60 hinds could be carried out independently.

It says the scheme is similar to facilities offered by commercial estates and is part of efforts to encourage economic diversity on the island.

David Maclennan, SNH's area manager for the Western Isles and Rum, said: "A deer cull has to take place. We can do it ourselves at significant cost to the taxpayer, or it can be a viable opportunity that, hopefully, businesses can benefit from."

SNH will provide the use of ponies and other equipment to remove shot deer from the hill and the use of the organisation's own larder facilities on the island.

But anti-hunting lobbyists Advocates for Animals have described the scheme as shocking. A spokesman said: "I am sure the public would be shocked to learn that the killing of deer for sport and financial gain in a national nature reserve is being promoted in this manner.

"Encouraging people to pay to come and shoot our deer for entertainment is contradictory to ethical forms of eco-tourism such as wildlife watching and photography."

He added: "Shooting must only be undertaken as a last resort and then by fully trained and competent marksmen."

Source: http://news.scotsman.com/scotland/Fury-at-shooting-parties-on.3862861.jp

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Galeriacores said...
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