Animal rights group slams Phoenix Park deer culling scheme

Over 200 deer were shot by a Government-hired sniper over the past two years

Animal rights group slams Phoenix Park deer culling scheme

Fallow stags during the annual Rut at the Phoenix Park in Dublin this morning, 04-11-2017. Image: Sam Boal/RollingNews

The National Animal Rights Association says the culling of deer in Dublin's Phoenix Park is a money making scheme.

It's been revealed that over 200 deer were shot by a sniper over the past two years, with the carcases sold to a meat supplier for almost €20,000.

The figures were released to Dublin Live on foot of a Freedom of Information request.

The Office of Public works says culls need to be carried out to avoid an over abundant deer population.

But NARA spokesperson Laura Broxson said there are other options:

“They could neuter these deer if they wanted, there is even now medication they can give animals that make them sterile,” she said.

“There is no need to cull them just because they think they are overpopulating.

“They get money for every carcass they sell; it is a money-making thing.”

It said the park remained open to the public while the 68-year-old sniper from Bray, Co Wicklow was active.

It claimed a “detailed protocol” was followed, ensuring the welfare of the animals and the safety of the public.

Reporting from Kim Buckley ...