Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Charlie McConalogue has been urged to “push very hard” for funding for a deer management strategy.
The animal health and welfare chair of the Irish Cattle and Sheep Farmers’ Association (ICSA), Hugh Farrell said that government funding for the strategy is now the “key issue”.
His comments come as “progress” is being made in the Deer Management Strategy Group, chaired by Teddy Cashman, towards a “workable” deer management program.
There is a “good level” of consensus emerging between all stakeholders on the need to control the deer population, and to tackle the issue of deer roaming onto farmland and public roads, he said.
Commenting that the “out-of-control” deer population has been a “major problem on several fronts, including the spread of bovine tuberculosis (TB)”, Farrell, who participates on the group, said:
“I am calling on Minister McConalogue to push very hard for the funding so that the work can begin in implementing a key aspect of getting TB under control.”
Farrell said he is hopeful that the group is moving towards a plan which will include a dedicated program manager to co-ordinate and implement a strategy to bring deer numbers under control.
Deer hunting season open
With the start of the 2023/2024 wild deer open season yesterday (September 1), license holders can now shoot male deer in areas for which they have permits.
Sika and fallow males can now be hunted throughout the state until December 31. Muntjac deer can be hunted nationwide until August 31, 2024.
Male red deer can also be hunted until year end, except within Co. Kerry. Hunting of female deer opens on November 1 and continues until the end of February 2024.
Deer hunting licenses are issued by the National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) on an annual basis and cover the period from 1 August 1, to July 31.