The strategy, ‘Scotland?s Wild Deer: A National Approach’, reaches a consensus on the best way to manage deer populations and habitat by balancing environmental, economic and welfare concerns.

It was prepared as a joint agency approach by the Deer Commission for Scotland (DCS) working with the Scottish Government, Scottish Natural Heritage and the Forestry Commission Scotland.

Mr Russell said: ?Wild deer are a huge asset to Scotland. They are an important part of the rural economy, integral to Scotland?s biodiversity and a source of healthy food and recreational opportunities. This new approach sets out ways to make the most of this asset.?

The DCS has been asked to consider what changes in the law need to be made to ensure legislation supports the strategy. It will present recommendations to the minister by Christmas.