LINK Deer Group welcomes consultation on reforming Scotland’s system of deer management

05 Jan 2024

LINK’s Deer Group welcomes the publication of a consultation seeking views on proposed changes to Scotland’s system of deer management.

The consultation builds on previous legislative changes made in 2023 and recommendations made by the Deer Working Group in their 2020 report  The Management of Wild Deer in Scotland.

Duncan Orr-Ewing, Convener of LINK Deer Group comprising of all main landowning eNGOs in Scotland, said:

“The LINK Deer Group welcomes proposals by the Scottish Government to modernise deer legislation framed around the need to tackle the nature and climate emergencies.

These proposals build on the recommendations of the independent Deer Working Group Report already accepted by Scottish Government. New workable powers for NatureScot to intervene to reduce deer numbers where necessary in the public interest are especially welcome.

In the absence of predators, Scotland’s deer populations must be humanely managed by landowners to sustainable levels and to protect our environment from damage.

We expect that these new measures will provide opportunities for additional local employment. We understand that some more traditional sporting estates may have concerns about these changes to deer management systems and processes.

In this regard, we welcome steps that are being taken in parallel through the Deer Common Ground initiative to ensure a just transition, and to harness the essential skills and knowledge that will be needed for future sustainable deer management in Scotland”.      

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