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Land managers under threat from deer orders

Deer numbers are of concern, but DMNROs are ‘unnecessary’.

NatureScot’s proposed deer management nature restoration orders (DMNROs) are “unnecessary and divisive”, says the Scottish Gamekeepers Association (SGA). Explaining its opposition to the orders (News, 27 March), the SGA claims NatureScot can achieve what the orders set out to do by better utilising existing powers. 

The Scottish government claims DMNROs would provide “additional powers for NatureScot to facilitate deer management for the purposes of enhancing the natural environment”. But gamekeepers fear the evidential threshold is too low, giving NatureScot a disproportionate power that would threaten land managers’ abilities to conduct legitimate business. 

Professional stalker Chris Dalton said: “ DMNROs are yet another example of the Scottish government failing to properly consider or consult. Wildly unsubstantiated figures are being peddled about the numbers of deer in Scotland and legislation exists already to tackle deer numbers in areas where there is a need to do so. 

“This course of action will be widely divisive, potentially illegal and stands to remove any cooperation or goodwill, which is already becoming very fragile, between landowners and deer managers,” he added.