Note that while the Scotland Office's 'Scotland Environment Statistics' for 1998 states 'Sightings of muntjac have been recorded in 1994.', and Deer-UK state 'Muntjac are an established feral deer species within England. Absent in Northern Ireland, marginal in Wales and almost non-existent in Scotland', the new Scottish Deer Commission web site states 'Despite various reports, any instance of muntjac living wild in Scotland has yet to be confirmed. Populations of muntjac are resident in some areas south of the border and the potential for the species becoming established in Scotland should not be ignored.' The following headline appears to be a misinterpretation of a planned cull of Sika deer
Muntjac deer cull planned in bid to save native species
Britain's smallest deer the muntjac faces being wiped out in Scotland under government-backed proposals to control or eliminate all but the two native species of deer north of the Border
By Tim Bugler in the Scotsman March 23 rd 2000
The muntjac, the sika and the fallow deer are all earmarked for destruction in a consultation document outlining a 20-year plan for the management of Scotlands deer. The report, Wild Deer in Scotland Towards a Long Term Future, was published yesterday by the Deer Commission for Scotland.
It says there should be no future for muntjac in Scotland; recent expansions in fallow deer populations should be reversed; and the numbers and impact of the sika should be controlled and reduced.
The commission says the current cull of red and roe deer, Scotlands two native species, should continue to allow them to enjoy "an enhanced natural environment, managed on a sustainable basis".
The chairman, Andrew Raven, said: "This consultation is
seeking views on where the various species of wild deer should fit in to the overall use of land in Scotland over the next 15 to 20 years."
The commission says deer provide jobs in remote rural areas with few alternatives, but also damage agriculture, woodlands, threaten habitats by overgrazing, cause problems of road safety, and even eat peoples gardens.
Ross Finnie, the rural affairs minister, launching the plan at a press conference in Stirling, warned there was no room for sentiment about the muntjac and the fallow deer. "The question of the control of non-native species is fundamental. Were talking about land management for the benefit of Scotland. We are trying to get a strategy for ... Scotland that can be sustained by the land which we have. The answers will have to be founded not in emotion, but in fact."
© The Scotsman, 23 rd March 2000
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