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News archive

24 January 2020

Deer Management in Scotland

Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH) has published reports on assessing progress in deer management in Scotland, which has been prepared for the Scottish Government.

Below are links to the main report and three associated research reports:
Assessing Progress in Deer Management - SNH report to the Scottish Government -

  1. SNH Research Report 1149 - Updating the estimates of national trends and regional differences in red deer densities on the open-hill ground in Scotland -
  2. SNH Research Report 1158 - Deer-Vehicle Collision (DVC) data collection and analysis 2016 – 2018 -
  3. SNH Research Report 1188 - Lowland deer management - assessing the delivery of public interests - phase 2 -

 Assessing Progress in Deer Management - SNH report to Scottish Government

22 January 2020

Deer Winter 2019/20 Edition - Out Now

The latest edition of Deer, The Journal of The British Deer Society is out now.

Features include:

  • Deer Distribution and Abundance
  • News from the BDS
  • Genetic Diversity in Water Deer
  • Investigating Roe Range
  • Deer Tracks and Signs
  • and more...


16 January 2020

Muntjac Symposium - Initiating Collaborative Working

The one-day muntjac symposium organised by the British Deer Society working in partnership with The Woodland Trust and sponsored by Galbraith was a resounding success.

The event was well supported with multi-agency attendance including BDS, BASC, Woodland Trust, Yorkshire Wildlife Trust, Natural History Society of Northumbria, etc, as well as Scottish Natural Heritage and the UK Non-Native Species Secretariat.

Over 70 people took part and BDS Deer Officer, Glyn Ingram, commented that it was good to see representatives from important partner organisations, and private individuals enthusiastically engaging with each other.

Muntjac Symposium

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”.