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Angry protest over National Park deer cull

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PROTEST: Ted Cronin of the Party for Animal Welfare with a group of protesters outside Killarney National Park on Wednesday morning.

 

By Sean Moriarty

 

The Party for Animal Welfare - who staged a protest at the gates of Killarney National Park early Wednesday morning - is calling for a contraceptive style approach to reduce the deer herd in Killarney.

The group, who were out at 7.30am and left just after 9am, were raising concerns over the current deer cull taking place in the Park.

The cull, which is approved and managed by the National Parks and Wildlife Services (NPWS), has been taking place once a week for the last two weeks. Next Wednesday (March 11) has been set aside for the final day of the annual cull and the Park will be closed between 6.30am and 11.30am.

Latest figures show that there were 120 deer culled during the 2017-18 season and that 272 were culled last year.

Animal rights activist and recent General Election hopeful Ted Cronin led Wednesday’s protest.

He says there are other ways of controlling the deer population.

“Shooting deer is the easy way out, there are other methods,” the party’s deputy leader told the Killarney Advertiser. “The contraceptive method is used a lot in America, animals could be transported to different parts of the country too and while a journey in a horsebox would be stressful for the deer it is still better than killing them.”

Killarney enjoys a love-hate relationship with Ireland’s oldest animal.

Deer are an important part of the tourist experience but growing numbers have led to calls for culls as deer frequently wander into the town centre and they have been blamed for several road traffic accidents – some fatal – in recent years.

“Imagine a telling a tourist that the deer they were looking at yesterday have now been shot dead - they would not want to come back to Killarney,” added Cronin. “If there are only 10 deer left in the Park, they can jump out in front of a car at any time too.”

Cronin claims Wednesday’s cull was cut short after a member of the protest group entered the National Park, and the park rangers were unable to locate that person so had to stop the shooting for safety reasons.

However, this was denied by the NPWS.

“The cull was neither called off nor interrupted by protest. The cull was completed in full. No people were in the Park during the cull. We would stress that culling is a regular management operational activity of the Park. It would have been an incredibly reckless and irresponsible action had any protestors trespassed during the cull, which had been clearly signed and advertised in the interests of public safety,” said a statement issued to the Killarney Advertiser.

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What kind of insurance does a building contractor need?

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Yellow rainfall warning issued for Kerry

A status Yellow rainfall warning has been issued for the county from 12noon today (Monday) until the early hours of tomorrow morning. Thunderstorms and heavy showers will develop today over the western half of the country, moving eastwards this evening where they will continue tonight. Localised downpours will lead to spot flooding and hazardous driving […]

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A status Yellow rainfall warning has been issued for the county from 12noon today (Monday) until the early hours of tomorrow morning.

Thunderstorms and heavy showers will develop today over the western half of the country, moving eastwards this evening where they will continue tonight. Localised downpours will lead to spot flooding and hazardous driving conditions.

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