Thursday 29 September 2016

'We can’t let them take over the county' - Councillor under fire for suggesting farmers shoot wild deer on their land

Catherine Devine

Published 01/06/2016 | 13:43

Fine Gael Cllr Winston Barret said that wild deer have been destroying fences and mixing with cattle
Fine Gael Cllr Winston Barret said that wild deer have been destroying fences and mixing with cattle

A councillor has been accused of cruelty by animal rights activists for suggesting that farmers shoot deer in order to curb the spread of Tuberculosis.

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Fine Gael Cllr Winston Barret suggested farmers be allowed to shoot deer if they’re causing a problem on the farms.

“I’m not saying pellet guns or anything but the proper licensed guns to shoot them to prevent TB spreading,” said Barret.

He said that wild deer have been destroying fences and mixing with cattle, with farmers fearing that there is a risk that they will spread TB to their animals.

Barret said that wild deer have been spotted particularly in the Black Lane area and the problem is only getting worse.

He denied claims that it was animal cruelty and said that “the deers with TB are suffering too”.

“If we can eliminate it in the wildlife and the cattle on the farms, it’s better for everyone.”

Barret said: “The wild deer have to be managed. We can’t let them take over the county.”

Fianna Fail Cllr John Paul Feeley said The issue has been referred to the Department of Agriculture because they would deal with the health of cattle and livestock.

John Carmody, founder of Animal Rights Action Network said that “anybody with brain cells will see that shooting the animals dead doesn't work.”

“When these animals are shot dead it's impossible to know which of them carry TB, but what we do know is that other animals will simply replace the dead ones,” said John.

“If there is a problem as some farmers report, then ARAN advocates neutering. Neutering the animals is by far the most sensible and humane option. There needs to be more research done into the reported problems of deer carrying TB, but until we know for sure, putting a hit on them won't solve any of these problems.”

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