The home of Shooting Times and Sporting Gun

Mismanagement claims hang over Baronsdown deer

Videos showing collapsed and dying red deer, including one stag being stabbed and its neck twisted in an attempt to break it, on the sanctuary run by the League Against Cruel Sports (LACS) at Baronsdown, near Dulverton, Somerset, were released this week by the Countryside Alliance (CA). The CA contended that LACS is not capable of looking after the deer on its land. The RSPCA has launched an investigation into the death of the deer.

Despite the fact it occurred on its land, LACS denied that the killing of the deer was of its doing. The man responsible, retired estate ranger Geoff Hayes, told The Sunday Times last weekend he had no connection to either pro- or anti-hunting groups and had simply been driving past when he saw the deer in distress. The video footage also shows LACS?s sanctuary manager Paul Tillsley collecting carcases of dead deer.

The CA maintained that the footage shows evidence of mismanagement at the Baronsdown sanctuary. The video also includes an exchange between Tillsley and the cameraman, a CA member and Exmoor farmer Steve Coates. In it, Tillsley can be heard saying ?I?ve had enough of you lot f***ing doing this [videoing deer on Baronsdown] just to prove a point.? Simon Hart, chief executive of the CA, related the latest incident and the condition of Baronsdown deer shown on the footage to the historic conflict between LACS and local deer management interests.