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Deer cull ‘will be humane'; Estate manager seeks to reassure windfarm protesters

The manager of a Sutherland estate yesterday reassured people protesting against a proposed windfarm on the estate that there were no plans to corral deer and slaughter them as part of a mass cull connected with the development. Objectors to the 35-turbine windfarm at Gordonbush, near Brora, produced a leaflet in which they criticised the habitat management plan (HMP) of developer Scottish and Southern Energy (SSE).

The manager of a Sutherland estate yesterday reassured people protesting against a proposed windfarm on the estate that there were no plans to corral deer and slaughter them as part of a mass cull connected with the development.

Objectors to the 35-turbine windfarm at Gordonbush, near Brora, produced a leaflet in which they criticised the habitat management plan (HMP) of developer Scottish and Southern Energy (SSE).

The leaflet claimed that "huge numbers of deer be drawn in from a vast area of east Sutherland to the Gordonbush Estate, corralled and then slaughtered" and described the move as "unacceptably cruel".

But Gordonbush Estate manager Tony Smith yesterday said they were mistaken about the methods to be used for the cull.

He said: "There are no plans to corral the deer and slaughter them. The owners and residents of Gordonbush Estate wouldn't stand for these barbaric methods being used."

Mr Smith confirmed that there would be a large reduction in deer numbers on Gordonbush, but said it would be achieved by normal stalking procedures, in line with Deer Commission Scotland (DCS) best practice methods, over two to five years. He said: "The reason for such a reduction is to attempt to... more [truncated due to possible copyright]  

The manager of a Sutherland estate yesterday reassured people protesting against a proposed windfarm on the estate that there were no plans to corral deer and slaughter them as part of a mass cull connected with the development.

Objectors to the 35-turbine windfarm at Gordonbush, near Brora, produced a leaflet in which they criticised the habitat management plan (HMP) of developer Scottish and Southern Energy (SSE).

The leaflet claimed that "huge numbers of deer be drawn in from a vast area of east Sutherland to the Gordonbush Estate, corralled and then slaughtered" and described the move as "unacceptably cruel".

But Gordonbush Estate manager Tony Smith yesterday said they were mistaken about the methods to be used for the cull.

He said: "There are no plans to corral the deer and slaughter them. The owners and residents of Gordonbush Estate wouldn't stand for these barbaric methods being used."

Mr Smith confirmed that there would be a large reduction in deer numbers on Gordonbush, but said it would be achieved by normal stalking procedures, in line with Deer Commission Scotland (DCS) best practice methods, over two to five years. He said: "The reason for such a reduction is to attempt to break the seven-year breeding cycle of the common tick, which has become a huge problem in east Sutherland.

"The large numbers of ticks has had a detrimental effect on ground-breeding birds and other wildlife. They also carry Lyme Disease, which is dangerous to humans."

He added that the HMP, which took years to produce, covered all of Gordonbush and involved restructuring forestry, meadows and hill. He said it was designed to improve the environment, allowing birds and other animals to return to the land, and to allow natural regeneration of native plants and trees that had no chance of survival at present.

"Deer numbers are at an all-time high and need to be reduced to a manageable level. The deer reduction has the full backing of SNH and other environmental statutory bodies. It will also be managed by a steering committee made up of members from these bodies," Mr Smith said.

He added that the HMP could only be implemented in line with the windfarm due to the high costs involved.

In April this year, Scottish ministers gave the go-ahead for the windfarm, which would produce 87.5 megawatts of electricity, subject to conditions to minimise potential disturbance to local wildlife and to safeguard local interests. Protesters are still hoping the development can be stopped.


Source: http://www.pressandjournal....

SEP 6 2008
https://www.windaction.org/posts/16955-deer-cull-will-be-humane-estate-manager-seeks-to-reassure-windfarm-protesters
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