Deer stalker: Animal rights activists criticise controversial cull at Phoenix Park
A cull of dozens of fallow deer in the Phoenix Park yesterday ahead of mating season has sparked alarm among animal rights activists.
Some 34 of around 550 fallow deer who live in the Dublin park were shot in a bid to control their population.
However, activists from the Alliance for Animal Rights (AFAR) group raised concerns about the manner in which the animals were killed, with a spokesperson describing the cull as "inhumane".
"We spoke to people in the park at the time and they were horrified," said Bernie Wright of AFAR.
"They were saying the animals were being shot from a bit away and then they were lying there until they came over to finish them off.
"This happened last year, too, but we didn't realise that it is as brutal as it really is," she added.
A spokesperson for the Office of Public Works, which oversees the management of the park, said around 20 to 30 deer were removed during each cull using "best practices, taking full regard for the welfare of the deer".
They added: "An over-abundant deer population can result in an increasing incidence of road traffic accidents and increase the potential role of deer in the epidemiology of specific diseases."