image: Brian Stone
If you come from a country like South Africa or Australia you could be forgiven for being a little perplexed as to why people make such a fuss over the UK’s Autumn & Springwatch TV programmes. There is a lot about birds, seals, badgers, foxes, field mice and of course … deer. There’s not a lot else to talk about whereas in your countries you’re obviously spoilt for choice.
Well, in walks the so-called Deer Intiative. This is a thinly disguised grouping of hunting organisers, farmers and venison/game entrepreneurs. They have been on the radio this week proposing a 20% cull of the UK deer population. That population is estimated at 2 million. Hmm, so they would like to see 400,000 taken out.
Farmers are complaining that their crops are being ‘raided’. Holes made by deer in their fields are upsetting them. About 10 people a year are killed when involved in a road accident with a deer crossing a road.
Never fear The Deer Initiative has an ingenious solution; make money from hunting sportsmen paying top dollar to shoot the deer, then sell the venison locally and to markets overseas. That’s alright then.
Maybe a seal initiative will soon be set up to replicate the idea. Soon there will be nothing to shoot … on film for Springwatch.