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Thread: More protection for Scottish deer

  1. #1

    More protection for Scottish deer

    New Rules Give More Protection For Scotland's Deer

    30/3/2012

    New deer management rules coming into effect this weekend (1 April) will give more protection to Scotland's wild deer, Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH) has advised.

    Changes to the Deer Scotland Act (1996) mean deer can no longer be culled during the close season without authorisation from SNH.

    The shooting of all deer during the close season now requires a license, even when it takes place to prevent damage to farmland and woodland.

    To make this change as straightforward as possible, SNH plans to issue general annual licences to allow culling to prevent damage, so landowners won't have to apply each time deer are damaging crops or trees, but the license will specifically restrict the shooting of females at certain times of the year.

    This is part of a new approach to sustainable deer management in Scotland captured by the Code of Practice on Deer Management, approved by the Scottish Parliament in December. The code sets out a wide range of reasons why deer need to be managed - for example, to prevent damage to crops, for road safety reasons and to protect damaged habitats. There are also strong social and economic reasons, including a thriving venison food industry which helps support local communities. The code is also clear about the legal requirements which must be met for animal welfare, which is a key consideration of any license application.

    There is also a change in authorisations for shooting deer at night. SNH may now also authorise night shooting in the interests of public safety - for example, where there is an increased risk of deer vehicle collisions. The organisation will do this in cases where daytime culling has proved ineffective in reducing risk to public safety.

    Robbie Kernahan, SNH's head of wildlife operations, said:"These changes are important to promote animal welfare and give extra protection to female deer during the calving season."

    "We recognise the new rules will take some time for everyone to get used to. We want to ensure land managers can prevent damage to their crops or trees, but we also have to balance this with the welfare needs of the deer. So if anyone is unsure about what they need to do, I'd urge them to get in touch with us."

    For more information or for application forms,
    see Authorisations - Scottish Natural Heritage.

    These changes are a result of the Scottish Government's new Wildlife and Natural Environment (WANE) Act, which has resulted in amendments to the Deer (Scotland) Act 1996.


    Surely this can only be a good thing for our deer.

    Prov

  2. #2
    A bit of tinkering, in actual fact there are no major changes.

  3. #3
    Well it gives the public the "impression" that they are doing something.

  4. #4
    I don't see much in the way of big changes other than to increase the amount of paper SNH will have to push around and so to further justify their own existence and interference in stuff.

  5. #5
    How will this affect the contract culls for the forestry company's . Surely they will be restricted to animals in season . If this is not the case what's the point on having laws etc.

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by provider View Post
    How will this affect the contract culls for the forestry company's . Surely they will be restricted to animals in season . If this is not the case what's the point on having laws etc.
    It won't make the slightest bit of difference to them. The only thing they can't do is shoot hinds from 1st April to 31st August, which they don't do anyway. Deer will continue to be shot out of season using the enclosed woodland clause and if the woodland isn't enclosed then they'll get an out of season certificate at the drop of a hat anyway.

    A lot of talk for no real change.

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by WestCoastStalker View Post
    It won't make the slightest bit of difference to them. The only thing they can't do is shoot hinds from 1st April to 31st August, which they don't do anyway. Deer will continue to be shot out of season using the enclosed woodland clause and if the woodland isn't enclosed then they'll get an out of season certificate at the drop of a hat anyway.

    A lot of talk for no real change.
    I was under the impression that this had been done to death?

    Anyway here goes (again):-

    SNH intends (not sure if they have done yet?) to issue a general license to permit the shooting of male deer at any time - where they are causing damage.

    The shooting of any female deer between 1st April and 31st August may only be done under specific SNH Authorisation. The 'occupier' may apply without being on the 'fit and proper' register - others must be 'fit and proper'.

    The derogation of shooting any deer causing damage on enclosed land no longer applies.

  8. #8
    No real difference, in fact if anything worse in some respects, as has been said the enclosed land clause has been replaced
    by where deer are causing damage also more reasons for culling are acceptable, so less protection for deer not more.

    Female deer can not be shot between 1st April and 31st August unless authorised by SNH female deer were hardly if ever shot in this period, in the unlikely case of real need to cull females in this period SNH can authorise.
    So again no real change, no protection at any other time.

    The general license would appear to be less restrictive than the old style out of season license.

    As for the fit and competent register SNH have been requiring those applying for out of season licenses to be on it for some time now.

    So again no real change, if anything deer will have less protection than they had before

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by kuwinda View Post
    I was under the impression that this had been done to death?

    Anyway here goes (again):-

    SNH intends (not sure if they have done yet?) to issue a general license to permit the shooting of male deer at any time - where they are causing damage.

    The shooting of any female deer between 1st April and 31st August may only be done under specific SNH Authorisation. The 'occupier' may apply without being on the 'fit and proper' register - others must be 'fit and proper'.

    The derogation of shooting any deer causing damage on enclosed land no longer applies.
    DEER (SCOTLAND) ACT 1996

    General Authorisation under Section 5(6) (a) for the taking or killing of deer during
    close season.

    We, Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH), in exercise of the powers conferred by Section 5(6) (a)
    of the Deer (Scotland) Act 1996 (as amended by the Public Services Reform (Scotland) Act
    2010) and the Wildlife and Natural Environment (Scotland) Act 2011, being satisfied:

    1) (a) that the taking or killing of deer is necessary:

    (i) to prevent damage to any crops, pasture or human or animal foodstuffs on
    any agricultural land which forms part of that land; or

    (ii) to prevent damage to any enclosed woodland which forms part of that land;
    and,

    (b) that no other means of control which might reasonably be adopted in the
    circumstances would be adequate,

    hereby authorise:
    2) (a) the occupier suffering damage to those interests outlined in subsection 1(a) above
    and;

    if duly authorised in writing by the occupier suffering damage for the purpose, any or all of;

    (b) the owner in person;

    (c) the owner’s employees;

    (d) the occupier’s employees, or any other person normally resident, on the land;

    (e) any other person approved in writing by SNH as a fit and competent person for the
    purpose

    to take or kill:

    3) (a) Male deer and juveniles (up to 12 months old) of any species, during the period of
    any statutory close season; and/or

    (b) Female deer of any species during the period of any statutory close season, but not
    including the period 1st April to 31st August;

    Only during daylight hours, as may be necessary to prevent damage to the aforementioned
    interests on:

    4) (a) arable land, improved permanent pasture (other than moorland) and land which
    has been regenerated so as to be able to make a significant contribution to the
    productivity of a holding which forms part of that agricultural land; or

    (b) enclosed woodland

    This general authorisation will remain in force from 01 -04-2012 until 31-03-2013.
    FEMALE DEER OVER 12 MONTHS OLD MAY NOT BE KILLED under this general
    authorisation during the period 1st April to 3l August.

    This authorisation will remain in force until the expiry date, or the authorised person
    ceases to be so authorised and is subject to the following conditions: -

    1. No person convicted on or after 18 November 1996 of an offence under the Deer
    (Scotland) Act 1996 (as amended) may use this authorisation unless, in respect of that
    offence, either (1) they were dismissed with an admonition, or (2) they are a
    rehabilitated person for the purposes of the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 and
    their conviction is treated as spent. A person may also use this authorisation where, in
    respect of such an offence, a court has made an order discharging them absolutely.
    Such a person may apply for a specific authorisation from Scottish Natural Heritage.

    2. SNH may withdraw this authorisation at any time, in whole or in part.

    3. The authorised person must comply with The Deer (Firearms etc.) (Scotland) Order
    1985, the Deer (Scotland) Act 1996 (as amended) and Best Practice as published by
    the Wild Deer Best Practice Partnership and available on the Best Practice website
    http://www.bestpracticeguides.orQ.uk.

    4. SNH reserves the right to accompany controllers operating under this authorisation.

    5. Occupiers should be able to demonstrate that other appropriate means of control,
    including liaison with others who control deer on the land and on adjacent lands or,
    where appropriate, the local deer management group, have been explored before
    undertaking control under this authorisation.

    6. The safe use of firearms is the responsibility of the nominated controller(s).

    7. Occupiers must provide details of deer killed under this general authorisation to the
    owner of the land.
    d72Y)

    Wildlife Operations Unit, Scottish Natural Heritage
    Notes:

    1. This general authorisation applies only to the land types and classes of persons
    specified.

    2. For the avoidance of doubt, this general authorisation allows for the shooting of
    female deer during the following periods (dates inclusive):
    a. Red deer from 16 February to 31 March and 1 September to 20 October
    b. Sika deer from 16 February to 31 March and 1 September to 20 October
    c. Fallow deer from 16 February to 31 March and 1 September to 20 October
    d. Red/Sika hybrids from 16 February to 31 March and 1 September to 20
    October
    e. Roe deer from 1 September to 20 October

    3. Any requirement to shoot adult female deer for the prevention of damage to the
    classes of land specified, outwith the period of this general authorisation will
    require a specific authorisation from SNH.


    4, Any requirement for out of season shooting to prevent damage to:


    a. unenclosed woodland; or


    b. the natural heritage; or


    c. in the interests of public safety;


    will require a specific authorisation from SNH.


    5. This general authorisation does not place any requirement on the occupier; the
    owner, the owner’s employees, the occupier’s employees, or any other person
    normally resident, on the land to be on the SNH Fit & Competent Register.


    6. Any reference to deer means deer as specified by Section 45 of the Deer
    (Scotland) Act 1996 (as amended).


    Definitions:


    The following definitions from the Deer (Scotland) Act 1996 are of relevance:


    “agricultural land” has the meaning given by the Agricultural Holdings (Scotland) Act 1991;


    “enclosed” means enclosed by a stock-proof fence or other barrier, and “unenclosed” shall
    be construed accordingly;


    “occupier” in relation to any land includes any tenant or sub-tenant, whether in actual
    occupation of the land or not;


    “owner” in relation to any land includes any person who under the Land Clauses Acts would
    be enabled to sell and convey the land to promoters of an undertaking;


    “woodland” means land on which trees are grown, whether or not commercially, and
    includes any such trees and any vegetation planted or growing naturally among such trees
    on that land.
    Last edited by WestCoastStalker; 31-03-2012 at 16:07. Reason: missed a bit with the copy and paste

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by bogtrotter View Post
    No real difference, in fact if anything worse in some respects, as has been said the enclosed land clause has been replaced
    by where deer are causing damage also more reasons for culling are acceptable, so less protection for deer not more.

    Female deer can not be shot between 1st April and 31st August unless authorised by SNH female deer were hardly if ever shot in this period, in the unlikely case of real need to cull females in this period SNH can authorise.
    So again no real change, no protection at any other time.

    The general license would appear to be less restrictive than the old style out of season license.

    As for the fit and competent register SNH have been requiring those applying for out of season licenses to be on it for some time now.

    So again no real change, if anything deer will have less protection than they had before
    The enclosed woodland clause reads exactly the same as the old one so an out of season certificate is still required for any woodland that does not have a stock proof fence or barrier fully encircling it.

    The only real changes that I can see are the exclusion for females during the summer months, why they're allowing hinds to be shot in September I don't know, and the requirement for fit and competent to shoot anything out of season.

    So you're right, no real change.

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