Four were killed after being injured in interaction with park users
Injuries after interactions with park visitors one reason for cull
Over 200 deer in Richmond were shot dead in the last 12 months, new data reveals.
A Freedom of Information Request (FOI) made by The Local Democracy Reporting Service showed from September 2020 to August 2021, 328 deer in Richmond and Bushy parks were shot as part of culling season.
A further 13 deer were killed due to already having an injury in either of the parks.
The last 12 months saw 232 deer culled in Richmond Park and 96 in Bushy Park.
Due to injuries, four deer were killed in Richmond Park and nine in Bushy Park from September last year to August 2021.
Injuries can be sustained during the rutting season but sometimes due to interactions with park users, cars and dogs, says The Royal Parks.
The reason behind deer culling is to manage deer populations, according to The Royal Parks and without it, food would become scarce and more animals would suffer.
The meat is sold to licensed game dealers and the money is reinvested into caring for herds.
A Royal Parks spokesperson said, “As a member of the British Deer Society, The Royal Parks takes deer welfare very seriously and all aspects of their health are regularly monitored.
“In addition, both the society and the Deer Initiative of England and Wales fully endorse humane culling.
“The Royal Parks is an expert manager of enclosed deer herds, which are under veterinary supervision. Deer populations are actively managed to keep herds at a sustainable size.”
They added, “Without population control, food would become scarce and more animals would ultimately suffer.
“There would also be other welfare issues such as low body fat, malnutrition, high incidence of death from exposure to cold in winter and a build-up of parasites and diseases in deer.
“As a result of the cull, the meat is sold to licensed game dealers and all the money is reinvested into caring for our herds.
“It must be stressed we do not undertake commercial deer farming, and as such the meat is not labelled as Royal Parks when it is sold to the consumer.”
Previously, animal rights group, PETA, slammed deer culls for shooting dead deer leading to “horrifyingly painful deaths”.
James Mayer - Local Democracy Reporter
October 15, 2021