Calls for culling of red deer over TB fears

By Mike Lewis in Farming

FARMERS in the Pontsian area near Llandysul are calling on environmental chiefs to cull a rogue herd of 30 to 35 wild red deer they fear could be carrying TB.

Landowners also fear that the animals – which can grow up to 250cm long and weigh 240kg –- also represent a danger to ramblers and dog walkers, particularly in the rutting season.

“With a public footpath running through the forest someone could be killed,” Cllr Peter Davies told the Cambrian News.

“A few years back, a deer farmer from Saron was killed by his own livestock, even though he knew how to handle them and they were familiar with him.

“If someone walking along that footpath suddenly comes across these deer they could be viewed as a threat.

“I understand these animals can double their numbers every year. Soon we could be seeing them out on our roads and there is going to be a serious accident.”

Cllr Davies, who has raised the matter with the Chief Veterinary Officer for Wales as well as County Hall, is also calling on Natural Res­ources Wales to carry out a cull to establish whether the deer are carrying TB.

The 50-acre forest in question – believed to be in private ownership – stretches from near Rock Mill in Tregroes to land adjoining Lancwm on the Maesymeillion to Synod Inn road.

“There are some big stags in the herd and a few big females,” Pontsian beef farmer Michael Owens told the Cambrian News. “Our cattle have to be tested for TB every six months yet you have these deer who might be carrying the disease running around the countryside.

“Common sense doesn’t seem to prevail at the Ministry – if we were unable to account for 20 of our cattle we’d be in deep trouble."

See this week’s South Ceredigion edition for the full story, in shops and online now

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John Davies · 79 days ago · Report

What a surprise. Animal farmers and their friends wanting to kill more wildlife. Not had enough by targeting foxes and badgers? If they're so concerned about TB just vaccinate the cattle. The few pence extra that can be made by exporting meat from cattle that haven't been vaccinated does not justify declaring war on wildlife. They have more right to be there than the polluting farmers. Pisses me off.

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