Almost 240 deer culled in Killarney National Park

The National Parks and Wildlife Service says almost 240 deer were culled in Killarney National Park.

It says planned culls need to be carried out to ensure deer populations don’t reach levels that would have negative ecological consequences.

The NPWS says the management of the deer population in Killarney National Park is a continuous operation and as such there is an ongoing need for culling.

The Department of Heritage is working towards sustainable herd management and regularly undertakes surveys and census of deer populations; this information is used for culls.

Culling is carried out by NPWS employees as part of their regular duties and is at no additional financial cost to the State.

The 2019-2020 cull, which was completed prior to COVID-19 restrictions, saw 239 male and female deer culled.

This comprised 198 Red Deer and 41 Sika deer; all animals were processed and disposed of through a licenced wildlife dealer in compliance with all relevant legislation.

Earlier this year, members of the Party for Animal Welfare protested about the cull; they claim there are alternative methods for dealing with deer including better fencing and transportation to other parts of the country.

The Department says it is conscious of the sensitivity that is attached to the management of deer.

It says there is a significant challenge in attempting to balance the demands of agriculture, forestry and conservation with the need to ensure that deer are managed at sustainable levels and in a responsible and ethical manner.