I have received this from the SNH it is a brief summary of the out of season authority for the culling of deer, enjoy.
Changes to the provisions to shoot deer in the close season and at night as a result of the WANE Act
The WANE Act has made a number of changes to the Deer (Scotland) Act 1996.
Changes to section 5 of the Deer Act, which cover the Close seasons, mean that from the 1st April 2012 any deer culled out of season will be culled under authorisation from SNH. The exemption for the rights of owners and occupiers to cull deer out of season to prevent damage within improved agricultural ground and enclosed woodland has been removed.
The right for the occupier to cull deer to prevent damage in season on enclosed woodland and improved agricultural land remains.
SNH can now issue authorisations which can be general or specific in their nature. Our intention is to issue a general licence to owners and occupiers to cull deer for the purpose of preventing damage to improved agricultural land and enclosed woodland. This general licence will cover the period from 1st April 2012 to 31st March 2013. The general licence will not however allow the culling of female deer of any species between the period of the 1st April to the 31st August.
The owner, owner’s employees, the occupier’s employees or any other person normally resident on the land can carry out control under any general licence or specific authorisation on enclosed woodland and improved agricultural land without the need to be on the SNH fit and competent register.
The culling of female deer during the period of 1st April to 31st August will require a specific authorisation for the property to be issued by SNH. Individuals suffering damage to their interests should apply to SNH for an authorisation using an application form which will be available on the SNH website. SNH will assess applications and may carry out site visits to assess applications and ensure where authorisation is required to be issued that appropriate mitigation of welfare issues is adopted.
As with all authorisations only individuals suffering damage to their interests on a property will have the right to operate themselves or contract others to undertake control on their behalf.
The general licence will be produced on the SNH website with paper copies of the licence available from SNH on request. To operate under a general licence owners and occupiers must have read, understood and carry out any control in accordance with the conditions included on the licence.
Returns of deer culled under the general licence will be sought from agricultural census forms and annual cull returns.
Operation of the general licence provisions are likely to be subject to regular review and it is likely SNH will review the conditions and information required to be provided to operate under the licence on an annual basis.
Night shooting for public safety is now available to be authorised by SNH. This relates to the culling of deer to reduce or prevent impacts by deer on public safety. This is not a measure to allow shooting of deer at night where it is deemed unsafe to do so during daylight hours.