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Cull urban deer and give quality meat to foodbanks

There are almost 2,000 deer vehicle collisions a year in Scotland.

The Scottish Gamekeepers Association (SGA) has proposed a pilot scheme to manage the impacts of rising deer numbers near large cities — which include Edinburgh and Glasgow — in the Central Belt. 

The SGA says an initial cull would result in “high-quality, low-fat roe venison” being brought into the local food chain, as well as being donated to foodbanks and other community causes. 

It added that a “modest investment” by the Scottish government could establish a larder facility, with trained deer managers to produce “Central Belt roe deer for collection by an approved game meat handling establishment”. This would also help to reduce the almost 2,000 annual vehicle collisions with deer that have been recorded in Scotland since 2016. 

Charles Smith-Jones, technical adviser to the British Deer Society (BDS), said: “The BDS welcomes all efforts to maintain deer numbers in balance with the environment that supports them. Both professional and part-time stalkers, trained to work efficiently and humanely, have an important part to play in this process. 

“Venison, prepared to meet exacting food quality standards, is a valuable byproduct of planned culls and a great source of healthy, sustainable and delicious meat.”