Roe doe on the bridge by the Park Centre

Roe doe on the bridge by the Park Centre

On a recent Sunday morning a visitor came in to report a dead deer, unusually close to the Park Centre. It turned out to be a large female, or doe, which had been killed by a dog. Several times each year this unfortunate incident is repeated with the same consequences. Even when injured the deer are very susceptible to stress and rarely survive the trip to the vet.

Typical signs of dog attack

Typical signs of dog attack

Not pleasant viewing, but it is important that everyone is aware of the dangers of uncontrolled dogs. The signs are obvious with damage to the hindquarters during the hunt, and then to the neck at the end. The deer will often try to seek shelter around the buildings, car parks or people as a last resort.

Typical dog damage

Typical dog damage

Where the evidence exists the District Council Dog warden and police will be involved. Under the Deer Act 1991′ it is an offence to enter any land without the consent of the owner or occupier or other lawful authority in search or pursuit of any deer with the intention of taking, killing or injuring it’.   

And under the Hunting with Dogs Bill 2005 which relates to all dog owners ‘it is illegal for more than two dogs to chase wild mammals, for example deer in the woods. The dogs may not be owned by the same person.  

The Park has a good resident population of Roe, a local herd of Fallow which moves over a wider area and a small number of Muntjac. These days there is a very good chance of meeting one of these beautiful animals at any time of the day in any part of the Park. 

The deer population is rising nationally and is controlled by local ‘deer groups’ which include the Forestry Commission rangers. This ensures healthy individuals, reduces inbreeding, and limits damage to agricultural crops and sensitive woodland flora.

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