PICTURES: Deer cull takes place at Dublin's Phoenix Park

The fallow deer descend from a herd introduced in the 1660s

PICTURES: Deer cull takes place at Dublin's Phoenix Park

A deer cull is carried out in Phoenix Park in Dublin | Image: Niall Carson/PA Wire/PA Images

A deer cull has taken place in Dublin's Phoenix Park.

The operation was carried out by park rangers on Wednesday and saw 34 animals culled.

The Office of Public Works (OPW) has said culls need to be carried out to avoid an over abundant deer population.

Image: Niall Carson/PA Wire/PA Images

In a statement, the OPW said: "The role of the wild fallow deer herd in the Phoenix Park as a valuable component of biodiversity must be recognised.

"However, this must be balanced with an equal recognition of the potential for deer to impact adversely on a range of other biodiversity values, particularly where other conservation habitats and their dependent species are concerned.

Image: Niall Carson/PA Wire/PA Images

"Sustainable deer management must rely on sound, practical and applied scientific research, and any deer management policy must be cognisant of its application to practical deer management on the ground.

"An over-abundant deer population can result in an increasing incidence of road traffic accidents and increase the potential role of deer in the epidemiology of specific diseases."

The culling was carried out according to a protocol using best practices, taking full regard of the welfare of the deer and safety of staff and the public.

Images captured on Wednesday show a number of men with rifles and deer in the foreground.

Image: Niall Carson/PA Wire/PA Images

Other pictures show two men physically removing what appear to be dead deer from the park.

The OPW said the carcasses from Wednesday's cull have been purchased by a Department of Agriculture approved game dealer.

The established herd of 400 to 450 fallow deer descend from the original herd, which was introduced in the 1660s.

Image: Niall Carson/PA Wire/PA Images

The fallow deer was directly responsible for the development of the park.

A large herd of the deer still remains to this day, thought to number around 500 at any given time.

Last February, the National Animal Rights Association said such culls were a money making scheme. 

It was revealed that over 200 deer were shot by a sniper over a two year period, with the carcasses sold to a meat supplier for almost €20,000.