DEPUTY Michael Healy Rae has called for deer to be eradicated, not just culled, following a shock incident in which a woman was attacked by a stag while out on her daily walk on Saturday morning, close to her home.
The frightening incident occurred in the Glencar area near Glencuttane, where a large number of deer wander daily.
The woman was walking along a route she regularly walks and did not provoke the animal. She was attacked by the stag and sustained broken ribs, cuts and bruising.
The ordeal has left the community shaken. It is understood the deer was a protected Red Deer and not a Sika deer.
She is now recovering following the terrifying attack, but the incident has led to political representatives calling for deer to be culled to prevent other such attacks.
But Deputy Michael Healy-Rae has gone one step further and called for an eradication programme by the army to clear deer from problem areas after he himself was involved in a collision with a wandering deer last week.
He says that what is needed now goes far beyond a cull.
“It is an eradication programme now, not a cull...We don’t need a tokenism cull, we need it on a continuous basis,” he said.
The Independent TD has called for 500 deer a week to be culled in a bid, he says, to protect the lives of the public who must face up to the safety issues caused by wandering deer.
“We need to cull 500 per week. In the 1980s we culled 200 a week with not as many deer as there are now. We are culling none now, and we have a far greater population. It must also be across all species including the Red and Sika deer,” the Deputy said.
There are now anecdotal reports of daily accidents on roads around Kerry, at a huge cost to those to those who collide with the wild animals. Deer are also damaging farmers’ grass and wire, putting them at a huge financial loss, and there are major fears of a serious accident being caused by the animals wandering along the road.
“The numbers are out of control...The Army needs to be brought in they are resourced adequately and fire-armed to shoot the deer,” said Deputy Healy-Rae.
It is understood that the NPWS organised the putting down of the stag involved in the attack.