On 8 May 2023 a barrage of propaganda was put out by the government’s Deer Management Strategy Group in favour of a major cull of Ireland’s deer population. This highly contrived publicity campaign utilised the results of a survey that the group had carried out to generate their newsworthy content. Yet the survey was deeply flawed and clearly designed by those with an interest in wanting a deer cull to take place.
As the National Animal Rights Association put it, the questions were hugely biased in terms of a cull and venison trade to begin with. “It’s very clear that the government (probably due to lobbying by gun clubs primarily) want this to happen. The percentages listed in the article would indicate that gun clubs and farmers were likely the majority of those who took part in the consultation.”
Laura Broxon of NARA has asked TD Paul Murphy to shed light on the survey and, in particular, find out who was consulted. Because the public, who show enormous respect for Ireland’s deer population would never have expressed an 82% support for a deer cull: a sensational headline taken up by many media outlets out of all proportion to reality. Parliamentary Questions might also be able to expose the fact that those surveyed were not offered a chance to express support for non-lethal deer population control: if that is even needed.
There is, in fact, no data on the numbers of deer population or species. Any serious work in managing the deer population has to begin with obtaining this information. As Laura Broxon put it, “how can a cull be proposed when we have no idea how many deer there are in the first place? And hunters kill tens of thousands annually anyway, so all this makes very little sense.”
No actual research or trials in non-lethal population control have been undertaken in Ireland, even though this has been a success in America.
The Strategy Group’s press release also claimed that culling deer would be positive for biodiversity. This is completely at odds with reality, as the biggest threat to biodiversity is animal agriculture and consequent habitat destruction, water pollution, and GHG emissions.
This – as well as the ethical consideration – is why Independent Left stands for a phasing out of the animal and fish industries.
Another spurious point in the widely reported press release concerned road accidents. Road accidents can be prevented by erecting deer-proof fencing in danger zones, additional road signs and a lower speed limit.
Apart from the obvious animal rights violations, this proposed cull makes no sense, and our belief is that the Deer Management Strategy Group is probably made up of pro-bloodsports stakeholders. The agenda of the government implied by this flurry of propaganda against the deer population is to build a venison industry and also get more money in for shooting licences etc.
Two crucial facts as to why we oppose a deer cull in Ireland:
1. There has never been a survey of deer in Ireland regarding species or population, so we actually have no idea what the numbers are, and of which species.
2. In America, successful neutering and contraceptive programs were done on wild deer. We could easily do that here.
If the government decide to go ahead with a cull, they should be aware that the National Animal Rights Association will be there at every opportunity to intervene and stop this outrageous and blatant slaughter of innocent animals. #BanTheDeerCull