270 deer have been culled so far this year in Killarney National Park

270 deer have been culled so far this year in Killarney National Park.

The Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht says, while wild deer are protected under the Wildlife Acts, a significant cull took place in the park in January.

Measures to control the animals, including the erection of roadside fencing, have been widely discussed at local authority meetings in recent years.

The department says it attempts to balance the demands of agriculture, forestry and conservation with the need to ensure that deer populations are managed in a responsible and ethical manner.

After various reports and surveys of the deer population, the NPWS culled 120 deer in 2018 within Killarney National Park.

This included both Sika and Red deer.

The 2019 cull of deer commenced in January, when 270 deer were culled.

The department adds the deer were shot humanely by qualified marksmen, following consultation with the NPWS, and the remains disposed of in compliance with the Department of Agriculture guidelines.