Armed police have joined forces with wildlife rangers from the Forestry Commission Wales in what has been described as ?the toughest crackdown yet? on deer poachers in South Wales.

The Forestry Commission (FC) Wales says that the aim of Operation Antler, which began last week in the Monmouthshire villages of Goetre and The Bryn, is to tackle both deer poaching and its association with the illegal use of guns. It is the first time that armed police have been used in the campaign to clamp down on poachers in the South Wales area.

FC Wales forest crime officer Andrew Scourfield, a police sergeant seconded to FC Wales, is leading the operation. He said: ?The purpose of this high-visibility exercise is to act as a deterrent and send out a strong message to the poachers that their illegal activities will not be tolerated.

?We receive regular reports of deer poaching from the South Wales farming community and members of the public who are naturally concerned by the lengths to which these people are prepared to go.?

The rest of this article appears in 8th June issue of Shooting Times.

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