Legislation aimed at protecting natural environment from deer 'not fit for purpose', warn MSPs

Written by Liam Kirkaldy on 3 April 2017 in News

Environment Committee warns that Scottish Natural Heritage is failing to provide leadership in managing the damaging impact of deer

Legislation aimed at protecting the natural environment from deer impacts is not fit for purpose, according to a new report from the Scottish Parliament’s Environment, Climate Change and Land Reform Committee.

The report, which outlines changes that must be made to the way in which wild deer are managed, monitored and culled if Scotland is to achieve its biodiversity targets by 2020, found that 50 per cent of Deer Management Groups are not delivering an effective plan on the ground.

MSPs also warned that Scottish Natural Heritage is failing to provide leadership in managing the damaging impact of deer.


Bird of prey crimes fall by more than a quarter during 2016

Alarming level of distrust between groups working to tackle wildlife crime, MSPs warn

Deer are culled in Scotland to protect the landscape from the effects of overgrazing.

But while the report found that the overall deer population has been declining over the last ten years, it said they are still having a significant impact on the natural heritage.

Committee Convener Graeme Dey said: “The Committee welcomes the fact that some progress has been made but it’s clear that some Deer Management Groups and the Scottish Natural Heritage need to raise their game to deliver the step change needed.

“Habitats damaged by deer take a long time to recover. We simply can’t go on like this if we’re to achieve the Scottish Biodiversity Strategy targets.

“That’s why we’ve outlined recommendations for Scottish Natural Heritage and the Scottish Government to act to protect and hopefully restore these habitats as a matter of urgency.”

Sue Walker, SNH's acting chairwoman, said: "Scotland's deer populations are a key part of our outstanding natural heritage.

"At this point, SNH hasn't seen the report, but we are grateful to the committee for the care and time it has spent considering the challenges of deer management across both the Scottish lowlands and uplands.

"We will of course be considering the conclusions carefully and look forward to the Cabinet Secretary's response to the report."



Related Articles

The Tory approach to renewables is bad for business
19 July 2018

With a new poll showing high public support for onshore wind, the UK Government's hostility to renewables looks ever more confusing

Ministers should do more to make public bodies aware of legal duties on biodiversity, MSPs recommend
18 July 2018

MSPs urged ministers to write to public bodies at the start of the reporting cycle, and at regular intervals, to remind them of their duties

Brexit could force the UK to re-conduct animal testing, campaigners warn
16 July 2018

Lords to question Environment Minister Thérèse Coffey over the future of chemical regulation after the UK leaves the EU

Related Sponsored Articles

Associate feature: 5 ways IoT is transforming the public sector
5 February 2018

Vodafone explores some of the ways IoT is significantly improving public sector service delivery

Share this page