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News archive

27 November 2019

Venison Prices

With current uncertainty over the venison market in some parts of the country, it is more important than ever that Stalkers are supplying a high-quality product that is safely and humanely produced.

It is important that sales, both large and small and whether to Approved Game Handling Establishments (Game Dealers) or elsewhere, are conducted within the lawful framework and that all aspects of traceability, best practice, and Food Business regulations are followed.

Details of the current requirements can be found in the FSA Wild Game Guide here:

If you are selling venison it is your responsibility to know and adhere to this legislation.

Venison Prices

25 November 2019

Network Rail Scotland Tral New Measures to Reduce Deer Accidents on Railway Lines

A report in the Scotsman: Young deer straying onto Highland rail tracks are being given an escape route to prevent them from being hit by trains.

Sections of lineside fencing are being lowered to enable the young and their mothers to leap out of danger.

Collisions are most likely to happen on rural routes, including the Highland main line between Perth and Inverness, and those in the West Highlands and north of Inverness.

There are around 100 such incidents a year, which accounts for one in three animals hit on the network. While deer are less likely to derail a train they can cause significant damage. In addition, deer can get onto the track at stations, level crossing and gaps in fencing, but younger animals can find themselves unable to find a way out.

One of the experimental lowered sections of fence at Morvich on the Inverness-Thurso line. Picture: Network Rail
One of the experimental lowered sections of the fence at Morvich on the Inverness-Thurso line. Picture: Network Rail

20 November 2019

Footage of Rare Wild Siberian Musk Deer

Footage of rare wild Siberian musk deer, a national first-class protected animal, was captured by infrared camera in NE China's Jilin.

Siberian musk deer are found in the mountain forests of Northeast Asia. They are most common in the taiga of southern Siberia, but also found in parts of Mongolia, Inner Mongolia, Manchuria, and the Korean peninsula.

Rare Wild Siberian Musk Deer

15 November 2019

Plastic Pollution Causes Stags Death on Jura

A sad report has reached BDS, posted on Facebook by Wild Side of Jura, where a stag had been discovered tangled up in a mass of plastic banding. It seems likely he came across the banding on the west coast of Jura whilst grazing seaweed on the shore.

The stag managed to make it a mile up from the shore, no mean feat considering it was tangled around his back leg as well as around his antlers.

Plastic waste is a global problem and on Jura more is turning up every year on the west coast. It presents a risk to wildlife including deer both externally when deer become trapped like this stag and internally where consumption of plastics can lead to starvation and death.

Images below are from the Wide Side of Jura Facebook post.

Plastic Pollution Causes Stags Death on Jura

13 November 2019

Camera-trap Evidence that 'Mouse Deer' Still Live in the Wild in Vietnam

A species of small deer-like animal feared to have gone extinct has been spotted in Vietnam for the first time in almost 30 years.

The rediscovery of the silver-backed chevrotain (Tragulus versicolor) – or Vietnam mouse-deer – near the city of Nha Trang is reassuring, given previous suspicions that it might have died out as a result of poaching and habitat loss.

Mouse-deer aren’t actually deer (or mice, as it happens) but ungulates, a group that includes deer along with other herbivorous, hoofed animals. Out of the 10 types of mouse-deer that exist today, the silver-backed species is by far the most elusive.

mouse deer

06 November 2019

Rural Crime Seminar

Monday, 18 November 2019 from 09:30 to 15:00
Westpoint Exeter, Westpoint, Clyst Saint Mary EX5 1DJ

Devon and Cornwall Police are hosting an event to give Rural Communities the opportunity to have their say on policing in rural areas and influence future policing.

There will be a question and answer session with the Chief Constable Shaun Sawyer, Police and Crime Commissioner Alison Hernandez plus representatives from NFU and CLA. The Police and Partners will also give inputs on the current strategy and activity that is taking place to re-engage with rural communities.

rural crime seminar

31 October 2019

Venison Dealers Licences - November 2019

The Partnership for Action against Wildlife Crime (PAW) has a specific Priority Group to engage in Poaching & Coursing. Scotland’s group has been considering the returns / annual reports of Local Authorities to SNH of Venison Dealers Licences issued and it is ongoing.

A GIS map of the known addresses reveals that certain regions appear to have no registered Venison Dealers Licences operating. This may be the case but it may also suggest that there are persons or firms or estates processing, (removing the skin and butchering carcasses), who are non-compliant.

The National Wildlife Crime Unit and SNH, with support from Wildlife Crime Officers will soon be undertaking investigations into premises to investigate for non-compliance.

28 October 2019

Tick-borne encephalitis virus detected in UK ticks

Public Health England (PHE) has reported that Tick-borne encephalitis virus (TBEV), which is endemic in many European countries, has been found for the first time in a very small number of ticks in Thetford Forest and more recently within The New Forest.

These are early research findings from work carried out in conjunction with the Emerging and Zoonotic Infections National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Health Protection Research Unit at the University of Liverpool and indicate the need for more work, however, the risk to the general public is currently assessed to be very low.

The British Deer Society (BDS)’s Honorary Vet Peter Green commented:

“BDS is aware of the recent discovery of the TBE virus in ticks in the New Forest. The Society has been actively involved in the research that has led to this finding. The Society endorses the call for public tick-awareness, especially when spending time in the countryside where cattle, sheep, rodents, deer, birds and many warm-blooded creatures carry ticks and deposit them in grass and undergrowth”.

 Tick-borne encephalitis virus detected in ticks in the UK