Campaigning is a key part of the work of the British Deer Society. We work in partnership with a range of organisations to promote deer welfare and conservation and to ensure that the interests of wild deer are taken into consideration by public and private sector bodies.
As part of our work each year we communicate with over 60 policy groups and organisations, attend more than 30 shows and participate in over 100 other events throughout our branch network. Our current campaigns include:
Chronic Wasting Disease
Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) is highly infectious and has devastating effects on both wild and farmed deer. BDS is campaigning hard, along with other organisations, to keep CWD out of the UK by promoting awareness of the issue at border control points.
We encourage visitors to the UK to be vigilant about the cleanliness and biosecurity of outdoor equipment. While the highest risks appears to be with those engaged in sporting shooting, anyone hiking or camping in infected areas has the potential to bring back infection on dirty boots, clothes or equipment.
This website has a page in the Science and Research section dedicated to CWD which is kept up to date with all the latest developments . View this page.
Across the UK it is estimated there are up to 74,000* deer-related motor vehicle accidents, resulting in injury and suffering to deer, the death or injury of several hundred people each year and thousands of pounds worth of vehicle damage. This campaign encourages the erection of warning signs to alert motorists about the presence of deer on roads in high-risk animal collision areas.
* figures ex the Deer Initiative
Recent campaign successes include:
- Hampshire County Council placing temporary illuminated deer warning signs on the A337 and A35 in the New Forest during the rut.
- A new road safety campaign began on Cannock Chase with new safety signs alerting drivers of deer crossing the roads during the short days of winter.
BDS supports the Deer Initiative’s DeerAware campaign www.deeraware.com
Look out for Deer!
This is the aftermath of a close encounter with a deer at 02.30hrs north of the Upshire junction on the Epping New Rd B1393. The single male occupant lived to tell the tale of the deer that ran out and how he avoided it.
Wildlife Crime: Project Trespass
Poaching can lead to a number of animal welfare issues, serious loss of income from the illegal taking of game and fish, and damage to crops and land. Poachers may also be involved with many other rural crimes from theft of dogs and livestock to burglary. BDS is committed to increasing awareness of poaching as a serious wildlife crime and building better trust and relationships between the police and local communities to improve prevention, promote better intelligence and increase enforcement.
BDS is an active member of the Partnership for Action against Wildlife Crime UK (PAW UK) which helps statutory and non-government organisations to work together to combat wildlife crime. Its objectives are to reduce wildlife crime through effective and targeted enforcement, better regulation and improved awareness. Wildlife crime includes offences like poaching, killing or disturbing protected species or damaging their breeding and resting places, and illegally trading in endangered species.
BDS is also a member of the Poaching Priority Delivery Group (England & Wales) which brings together a range of organisations and police officers to tackle poaching issues. The group launched Project Trespass in October 2013 to coordinate action across England and Wales and has seen some good results.