The number of wild deer in the UK is soaring because no one is eating them: bring back wolves?

Over the last half a century, the number of deer that live in the UK has climbed pretty much continually.

Red and roe deer numbers are increasing rapidly, as well as the many non-native species that now call the uk their home

In many parts of the country, the number of deer are controlled by regular culls. However, during the pandemic these have not happened, and that now means that 2 culls in a row have been missed.

Generally these culls are paid for by selling the meat to game restaurants, but as these have been shut there has been no demand. In a normal year 80% of the deer culled go to restaurants and venison.

Wild deer numbers grow by as much as 30% each year, which currently equates to roughly 600,000 animals. As such, just missing 2 culls in a row can increase the deer population by more than 50% or in the UK case, more than 1 million extra deer.

The problem with this, is that deer can do great damage to forests, and other animals are likely to suffer. The forestry commission which looks after woodland has set up a working group to try to combat this issue. Even the deer society recognises that culling is a necessary part of living with deer. This many extra deer is likely to lead to an increase in car collisions as well.

Frankly, this is the time that we should be discussing reintroducing wolves and other predators. This is not incompatible with continuing to eat venison, however they retain the environment of fear no matter what is going in the human world. As a result, while they wouldnt remove the need to cull, they would greatly reduce it, and at the same time greatly improve the health of wild deer in the uk

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