Defra launches England Deer Management Strategy consultation

A muntjac deer

BASC will be producing a full and detailed response to Defra’s England Deer Management Strategy consultation that was launched on 4 August.

The month-long consultation (closes 2 September 2022) seeks views on recommendations to tackle the growing deer population in England.

The government’s commitment to the issue is commendable, but the goal of a healthy, sustainable deer population will only be reached with the support of every deer manager, including those who manage deer on a voluntary, part-time basis and account for much of the annual cull.

BASC’s response will focus on ensuring any proposals taken forward make a meaningful difference and acknowledge the management practices that are already used.

BASC welcomes the proposals to incentivise deer management and introduce grants to help bolster the venison supply chain, but believes that for such incentives to succeed they must focus on the species and specific areas where there are known problems.

Deer should not be seen as a national problem. Any strategy taken forward must respect the role of deer in the countryside and the management already undertaken. We will not allow their status to be degraded or their welfare jeopardised.

BASC does not support the proposal to introduce mandatory minimum standards for all deer managers, as it will produce a barrier to entry where there is no evidence it is required.

BASC will be responding to the consultation in detail and is urging all those with an interest in managing deer to do likewise.