Thursday, 1 February 2018

Ceisteanna (351)

Michael Healy-Rae

Ceist:

351. Deputy Michael Healy-Rae asked the Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht the reason for the delay in processing applications for shooting deer; the reason they are issued for a short length of time (details supplied); and if she will make a statement on the matter. [5224/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Culture)

Wild deer in the State are protected under the Wildlife Acts. There is an annual open season during which deer can be legally shot under licence. The open season for deer operates generally from 1 September to the last day of February, depending on the species and gender of deer. My Department has granted over 5,000 deer hunting licences for the current deer hunting season. Licences are issued for an annual period with all licences expiring on 31 July, 2018.

Control of deer on private property is the responsibility of landowners who may apply to my Department for a permission under section 42 of the Wildlife Acts to cull deer where this is necessary outside the annual open seasons. These permissions offer a facility whereby a person can obtain a permit, on a case by case basis, to prevent serious damage caused by individual deer on specific lands. Permissions are only issued where there is evidence of such damage.

My Department has granted a number of Section 42 permits in recent years to the facility in question in the area in question to control deer. I am not aware of undue delay in the processing of these applications and there is no application outstanding at present from the facility referenced by the Deputy.