Report from Christ Smith
AN MSP has called for Scotland's Deer Commission to be given greater
powers to cull the species, after animal campaigners warned that
landowners have failed to keep control of their numbers.
Bruce Crawford, an SNP member for Mid-Scotland and Fife, wants Holyrood to use the Executive's proposed Nature Conservation Bill, being debated in Parliament on Wednesday, to bolster the commission's role in managing deer numbers.
The Executive says it has yet to see evidence that the organisation, first established in 1959 as the Red Deer Commission, requires additional powers. But a recent wildlife groups' report estimated that Scotland's red deer population has trebled in the past 40 years to over 400,000, and sika and roe deer numbers are also at record levels.
The study, published by WWF and RSPB in September, cited adverse impacts on woodlands and estimated that between 20,000 and 42,000 UK road accidents a year are caused by collisions or near misses with deer.
© The Scotsman, 5 th January 2004
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