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National Parks and Wildlife Service

Dáil Éireann Debate, Tuesday - 31 May 2022

Tuesday, 31 May 2022

Ceisteanna (218)

Michael Ring

Ceist:

218. Deputy Michael Ring asked the Minister for Housing, Local Government and Heritage if action will be taken by the National Parks and Wildlife Services in relation to an issue (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [27273/22]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Housing)

The National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) of my Department is committed to the active management of the deer species within State owned National Parks and Nature Reserves and as part of its regular on-going management operations, NPWS carry out regular surveys, censuses and reports on deer in  our sites. Where appropriate, and depending on the annual count and instances of damage caused by deer to habitats, especially woodland, culls may need to be carried out to ensure that deer populations do not reach levels that would have negative ecological consequences.

However, it should be noted that while the NPWS does licence hunting of deer, my Department does not own the deer population and is not responsible for the management of deer populations generally. Deer, albeit larger, are like other wild animals in this country and it is not part of the remit of my Department, nor indeed would it be generally possible, to cordon them onto specific areas of land. In the case of deer on private property, management is a matter for the relevant landowner.

Deer can be controlled and hunted during the open season in accordance with a deer hunting licence issued under Section 29(1) of the Wildlife Acts. Deer can be controlled and managed outside the open seasons in accordance with a licence issued under Section 42 of the Wildlife Acts. Such licences are issued where damage is being caused by protected wild animals to livestock, agricultural crops on pasture or on cultivated land, woodland, forestry plantation, etc.

Local NPWS officials of my Department are happy to meet with local farmers, to best advise them on the licensing process and how best to manage/control deer on their land.

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