DEER & WILDLIFE CONTROL
Protecting the countryside
Unfortunately wherever there are populations of deer there will be the problem of the animals being taken unlawfully.
Poaching can take several forms :
Passive poaching occurs when individuals have permission to control fox and vermin on a piece of ground and use the cover of darkness to add some venison to the bag. This is more of a problem with low density deer populations,especially with Roe. It stops the populations becoming established and allowing proper management. It is illegal to shoot any deer species at night.
This can be controlled simply by using people you can trust to control fox’s and vermin. If you need to contract someone in then be sure to ask for references and a land line phone number, let them know that you will not tolerate misconduct in the slightest.
Professional Poachers are a bigger problem, being extremely organised and will focus on larger deer populations. The main aim will be profit, its estimated that the illegal venison trade is worth £5 million per annum in the UK. As we approach the Christmas period the problem will increase with the demand for venison and need for cash. The serious poacher doesn't usually come alone and can be violent. What can we do, well its very frustrating, I have had many meetings with rural police officers and the only real advice they can give is to record vehicle registration numbers and call 101.If you see or suspect a problem report it to the police on the 101 number and just keeping doing so. If a problem keeps occurring or a vehicle reg keeps coming up they may do something about it.
Police forces do vary in their response to poaching and some do actively seek out to combat poaching crime but in general don’t expect lightning response in the dead of night.
There is a certain amount you can do to keep poachers out, this will mainly be to stop vehicular access by keeping gates locked with decent chains. Lay large rocks or logs across unused access points and ad CTV if practical.
The outlets for venison could be better controlled with only those being licensed being able to sell venison on. This is current law but many butchers and hoteliers don’t bother asking for license numbers. I remember when I gained my large game meat hygiene certificate and proudly offered my license number to the local butcher, he wasn't bothered. You would think that trace ability would be as important as profit to a self respecting butcher.
We have to stick together and do as much as we can to squeeze out poaching.Be vigilante, make sure the people who control your deer are qualified to do so and of good reference. Report any problems to you local police authority on 101.
DSC1&2 Qualified, DMQ Accredited witness & Assessor.
Large Game Meat Hygiene certificate holder
Fully insured with BASC.