Mass deer grave at well-known country estate poses 'enormous bio-security threat' (Warning: Graphic image)
Warning: Graphic images below
Published 18/04/2016 | 15:58
The Irish Farmer’s Association has said a 'mass deer grave' discovered on a well-known country estate poses an “enormous bio-security threat”.
Earlier this month Independent.ie revealed that separate investigations had been launched after photos emerged online of an open pit containing dozens of sika deer carcasses.
The pictures were taken at the Luggala Estate in Co Wicklow which is owned by Guinness family member Garech de Brún. It was a summer retreat for performer Michael Jackson and is also the location for TV series Vikings.
- Read More: Exclusive: Dig underway at well-known country estate after pictures of 'mass deer grave' emerge
Now the IFA has strongly condemned the discovery saying it is further evidence of the inadequacy of the current approach to managing a national deer population that is spiralling out of control.
In a statement released today Wicklow IFA Chairman Tom Short said: “The deer population of this country has reached unacceptable and intolerable levels as they encroach further every year onto farmland, damaging crops, farm infrastructure, jeopardising the health of cattle and becoming an ever-increasing health and safety threat for motorists.”
Studies carried out by the Department of Agriculture show levels of TB in deer to be between 16 and 24%, compared to less than 0.2% in the national cattle population.
Mr Short said the discovery of the recent dump indicates that those charged with culling the animals “cannot be trusted in their adherence to the legal obligations for the disposal of dead animals”.
He continued: “Furthermore this act shows either a complete disregard for the health and welfare of the farm animals whose health status is jeopardised by the enormous bio-security threat caused to cattle by this dump or equally as damning, a lack of understanding of the threat.