Over the last ten years there has been a lot of controversy about the situation in a 5000 hectare big "Nature" Park owned by the state forestry commision in the Netherlands called Oostvaardersplassen. Several self proclaimed visionairs of this state forestry commision have put in 45 red deer 20 years ago and now there are over 2000 red deer in the park, apart from over a 1000 of wild horses and 550 wild cows. That is about 200 big hooved animals per 100 hectare.
The policy of the state forestry commission is that they only shoot the animal when it is no longer standing on its legs (because that is the closest thing to nature). So when it slowly dies of hunger, in the last day they shoot it. To me that is cruel. Cull them when they are still standing during summer and autumn and sell the meat. Now animals are suffering and when finally shot the carcass is left for the foxes and birds of prey, buried in the ground or burned in a big industrial furnace.
The red deer are fenced in and apart from grass there is only bark to eat because they do not feed the animals at all. And because they are fenced in they die of hunger. Now the landscape in the park looks like the moonsurface, no trees left. It is a summerhabitat, not a winter one. This week politics will get involved but because it is policy it is doubtfull that the situation will change as the state forestry commision had the approval of the majority of the votes in politics. I hate it when politics and policy comes first and the welfare of animals later. It is an experiment to see when red deer populations crash and "regulate" themselves. Pretty sick i think. I enclose some links so you can see the pictures yourself. Beware they are horrible. Is this the nature we want?