DEER STALKING

George Wallace

This business is largely covered by The Animal By Products (Enforcement) (England) Regulations 2011, which makes separate provisions for farmed and wild deer.

In the case of wild deer, if you think that a notifi able disease, in particular TB, has caused ill health or death, you must report it to your animal health team (trading standards or environmental health service), or the regional operations director at the regional animal health office of the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra).

The whole of the carcass and gralloch must be retained and kept securely in isolation until it can be properly inspected For healthy deer, it is recommended that gralloch should be:

• covered with soil, rocks or wood to prevent access by scavengers

• at least 250 metres from any well, spring or borehole used as a source of drinking water

• at least 30m from any other spring or watercourse and at least 10m from any drain

• have at least 1m of subsoil below the bottom of the burial pit, allowing a hole deep enough for at least 1m of soil to cover the carcass

• be free of water at the bottom of the hole, when first dug.

Those are recommendations rather than matters of Law so you must decide under your own circumstances exactly how to dispose of healthy gralloch so as to prevent, as far as possible, any risk of offending sensitive members of the public.

In areas with no public access, I reckon the stuff is much too valuable to be destroyed or buried and should be left available as a food source for birds of prey, foxes, badgers and all the other members of Mother Nature’s highly efficient refuse disposal team.

(And while they are eating that, they are not killing pheasants, black grouse or whatever).

In hard weather, when food is scarce, a gralloch can be a real life saver to all sorts of creatures, including endangered and at risk specie, so it is just plain stupid to bury good grub where they can’t get it.

On the other hand, only an idiot would leave a gralloch where Madame’s expensively coiffured poodle could come home covered in blood and guts, with a big smile on its face, thinking it’s now a real dog!

Just be sensible.