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News archive

14 January 2020

BDS Members and Branch Photographic Competitions 2019/20

BDS Members and Branch Photographic Competitions 2019/20

For all our members who are keen wildlife photographers, a reminder that this year's current members competition will be closing at the end of March 2020.

If you haven’t yet entered there is still time to capture a winning photo, and you can submit images either directly by emailing BDS at  or submit your entry through your local branch. 

BDS members photo comp 19/20

13 January 2020

Changes to Firearms Law

Members should be aware that new measures regarding firearms and deactivated firearms have become effective from 12 December 2019. 

They relate to:

- responsibility for secure storage arrangements in relation to certificate holders under the age of 18. 


In essence, it is now required that where a firearm certificate holder is under the age of 18, arrangements must be made for a person aged 18 or over to assume responsibility for the secure storage of the firearms and ammunition to which the certificate relates. 

08 January 2020

Deer Faecal Sampling for Postgrad Project

Investigating the prevalence of enteric disease agents in UK deer.

A Bristol University Science Student is asking South West and West BDS branch members for help with a project, Sam says: 

There is very little data on the prevalence of diseases in UK deer. Wild deer are a known potential reservoir of transmissible diseases and antimicrobial resistance genes. More recently, farmed deer have also been implicated in outbreaks of foodborne disease. Therefore, deer do pose a risk for disease transmission of livestock and zoonotic diseases. Furthermore, wild deer may be a reservoir for diseases that pose a threat to the health of farmed deer, but it is difficult to assess the risk without knowing if these diseases are common in the wild.

This study aims to address the lack of data on enteric disease agents in the UK wild, farmed, park and zoo deer through a descriptive cross-sectional study. Disease prevalence and the presence of antimicrobial resistance genes will be identified. Management factors will also be assessed to identify any possible associations between these factors and the prevalence of disease agents.

Droppings of red deer By Robert Biedermann

18 December 2019

Government Consultation on Import and Export of Trophies

Members will be aware that the UK Government has launched a consultation on possible changes to regulations affecting the import and export of hunting trophies:

It is clear that this consultation is not about the ethics of trophy hunting per se but concentrates on the implications of trophy hunting in terms of conservation. Most of it is indeed focused on the implications of permitting 'trade' [import-export] of such trophies. It is clear however that changes to the regulations may have significant effect on the economics of many deer management programmes in this country which let some of that management cull to foreign hunters and that further, restriction of that trade might have significant implications for welfare of deer if management culls in the future were less selective or had reduced economic value.  It is probably true that if we put an economic value on something we take more care of it.

The Board has discussed a formal Society response which we will be submitting in due course, but it is apparent that many members may wish to respond to the consultation individually.  The consultation focuses on the selection of options for the future [Question 8, below]. The Board will be recommending as the first choice, option 4 [No change] and as second choice: Option 1  [A ban on trophies of certain species]. We have selected this course for the second option in order to highlight the biosecurity risk associated with the importation of trophies from certain species in relation to the possible spread of diseases of economic importance such as African Swine Fever and Chronic Wasting disease.

16 December 2019

BDS-NI Branch Supports St. Anne’s ‘Black Santa’ Appeal

The British Deer Society’s Northern Ireland branch (BDS-NI) has donated £900 to St Anne’s Cathedral’s ‘Black Santa’ appeal on its opening day in Belfast.

The money was raised at a Gala Game Banquet organised by the Ulster Reform Club for its members and guests. The BDS-NI sponsored the event by donating the sustainably sourced wild venison for the game themed dinner.

Handing over the Gift-Aided donations to Dean Stephen Forde, BDS-NI representative Greg Kane said: “For the seventh year running the branch has sponsored the Ulster Reform Club’s Game Banquet, which is held shortly before the Cathedral’s Christmas Appeal begins.

“This Banquet is a great opportunity to promote the work of the BDS to an informed and influential audience at an event that is deliberately limited to fewer than four dozen attendees. We are the local branch of a national charity and this supports our work to develop peoples’ understanding of the wild deer living in Northern Ireland along with the challenge of both respecting them and ensuring they can live in sustainable balance with their natural habitat”.

01 December 2019

Book Now - BDS Muntjac Symposium

13th January 2020 – Great North Museum, Hancock, Newcastle University
A one-day symposium to pool knowledge and gather current information on the species.

Supported by The Woodland Trust


Muntjac deer are increasing their range. Following their introduction in the 20th century to the south east they have steadily spread north.  The British Deer Society quinquennial survey in 2016 confirmed resident populations as far north as North Yorkshire and Lancashire.  There are now occasional reports of sightings in Cumbria, County Durham, and even Northumberland. Scotland’s policy is clear, to be free of muntjac deer.

This symposium is to gather up to date information about this species. The findings will be made available for all and it is expected it will feed to the review of the national strategy for muntjac deer by the Non-Native Species Secretariat (NNSS).

muntjac symposium

01 December 2019

Shop Amazon Smile and Help BDS

You shop. Amazon gives - When you shop AmazonSmile, Amazon will make a donation to The British Deer Society.

Amazon donates 0.5% of the net purchase price (excluding VAT, returns and shipping fees) of eligible purchases to BDS. It's the same Amazon with the same products, prices, and service.

Its the easy way to support us by choosing The British Deer Society when you start shopping at

29 November 2019

BDS London Dinner - A Sparkling Success

Last week’s BDS London Dinner was another truly great fundraising event.  Again very generously supported by Knight Frank, over 100 people attended a champagne reception at the Caledonian Club before sitting down to a venison dinner.  

After a welcome from BDS President Lord Andrew Hay and Chairman Professor Rory Putman, guests focused on the serious business of raising funds! There were some really fantastic auction lots, both online and live on the night,  plus terrific prizes in the night’s raffle. All items were donated by our many amazing sponsors and supporters and bidding was fierce. 

BDS London Dinner