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Monday, 20 October 2014

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Sellafield deer cull plans are branded ‘absurd’

THE owner of an organisation that champions humane alternatives to pest control has condemned “absurd” plans to cull deer near to the Sellafield nuclear site.

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Sellafield

Kevin Newell, who owns Humane Wildlife Solutions, has urged Sellafield bosses not to cull deer that have found themselves enclosed within the nuclear site.

It was announced in January that the plant intended to exterminate wild roe deer trapped between two fences. There are thought to be between five and 15 deer on the site.

Mr Newell said: “The reason they’ve given for culling them is that if they were pushed out they would get snagged in vegetation. This is absurd. They’re a wild animal. They live in vegetation.

“The best thing to do would be to remove part of the fence and allow me and my team in there to get them out.”

Sellafield Ltd is acting on the advice of the Deer Initiative Partnership which says that the most humane and practical solution is to cull the animals.

The DIP says that deer would simply return to the site if they were moved away, causing them to get caught in fencing or vegetation.

Mr Newell, however, argues that the advice is unbalanced. He said: “If they spoke to people and listened maybe they would see things differently.

“They’ve only spoken to the Deer Initiative which is pro-cull.

“It seems like they’ve gone with the first option they’ve heard, despite many offers of an alternative.”

Mr Newell argues that an alternative plan would not only prove more humane, but be more effective as well.

He believes that once the deer are culled another herd will come and try to take their place, causing more problems.

He added: “If they cull them, another herd will just come and take their place.

“If you seek an alternative like removing a part of the fence and getting rid of them they will learn to move on.”

Sellafield still plans to go ahead with the cull, which it hopes will take place soon.

A spokesman for the site said: “We have considered every alternative and the advice given to us still stands.

“The cull is still scheduled to go ahead.”

An online petition to prevent the cull has gained more than 2,500 signatures.

Have your say

I totally agree with evicting the deer rather than culling. If an experienced humane pest control company has offered to remove the deer then perhaps sellafield can explain why they haven't taken up the offer. Sellafield should welcome the opportunity to enhance the publics perseption of the company.

Posted by Jennie on 10 March 2014 at 13:34

The new (American led) management at Sellafield seem to have no respect for our British wildlife or for the wishes of local people, their workforce and the wider British public... who want the deer to be freed... not killed.

Posted by Margaret Morton on 6 March 2014 at 22:46

View all 8 comments on this article

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