BASC statement on launch of Scottish deer consultation

Red deer hinds

The Scottish Government is consulting on major proposals to change the legislation which governs deer management in Scotland.

The proposals outlined in the consultation, Managing Deer for Climate and Nature, are designed to ensure that legislation aligns with challenges posed by the biodiversity and climate crises. 

BASC Scotland director Peter Clark said: “We welcome the opportunity to respond to the consultation, ahead of the introduction of significant primary legislation which will ultimately shape deer management in Scotland for decades to come.

“The consultation proposes changes to the close seasons for female deer, changes to legislation regarding the use of shotguns for culling deer and changes to the selling of venison amongst others.

“The proposals relating to Deer Management Nature Restoration Orders raise concerns, given it would allow NatureScot to enter land under legally enforceable direction to undertake deer management activities where it deems necessary.

“We want to see a community-integrated deer management approach, as there are numerous proficient and skilled deer stalkers who are vital to overseeing deer populations on publicly-owned land, offering a community-based alternative to costly public contracts.”

BASC will respond to the consultation robustly – expressing our concerns, priorities and evidence, and in due course will be issuing members with further information.