Action urged as deer leave mountains to seek out food
Farmers are calling for action as they are being invaded by hungry deer coming down off the mountains due to the long hard winter.
Tom Stephenson, who farms in Donard, Co Wicklow, said the problems with deer have been exacerbated this year due to the poor grass growth.
The suckler and sheep farmer said many of the deer coming down onto his land now look thin as there is still a lot of snow on the peaks.
"I want to put the cows and calves out," said Mr Stephenson, who is the ICSA chair for Wicklow, adding he was forced into running the deer off his land.
"The National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) will have to control the deer situation. I'm 61 years of age and it is only in the last 25 to 30 years of age that I've seen the deer.
"It is so common now they are coming down and grazing on my front lawn," he said. "They are coming down as they are hungry."
He said forestry plantations of Sitka spruce also mean there is less grassland for them.
"I'm applying to get a section 42 licence as I want to sow rape on the farm to feed lambs," he said, adding it had reached the point where he needed to control the wildlife.