A number of important changes for shooting deer during close seasons and at night have come into force, Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH) has advised.

Previously there was an exemption for owners and occupiers, which allowed them to cull deer out of season without authorisation to prevent damage on improved agricultural ground and in enclosed woodland, but now SNH must authorise any deer culled out of season.

SNH?s head of wildlife operations, Robbie Kernahan, said: ?I?d like to reassure owners and occupiers that they won?t have to get authority from us every time they need to cull deer and protect their interests.

?We can now issue both specific and general authorisations, so we intend to issue a general licence to owners and occupiers who need to cull deer in order to prevent damage to farmland or enclosed woodland.?

The rest of this article appears in the 4th April issue of Shooting Times.

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