Several TDs have called on the government to introduce a policy to control deer and foxes in Ireland.
During a Dáil debate on Wednesday, December 15th, Deputy Sean Canny, Independent TD for Galway-East, said that there are currently 80,000 deer “too many” in the country.
He said they are “running wild around the place” and “jumping out on roads, hitting cars and endangering life”.
He told the house that hare coursing and fox hunting have been traditions in rural areas for years and are a means to keep wildlife, such as foxes, under control.
Independent TD for Kerry, Danny Healy-Rae, also shed light on the matter by stating that his native county is “completely overrun with deer”.
He said there needs to be a government policy to control deer and foxes. “More so, the deer, because people are being hurt and killed,” he stressed.
He then told the Dáil about a young driver, who was involved in a collision with a deer in recent days.
“At 7.15 the other morning, a deer ran out in front of a youngster who had gone to the trouble of getting his driving test, buying a car and getting expensive insurance.”
“It made flitters of his car, which he gave a lot of money for. He is finished now. He cannot go to work because his car has been put out of action before it really got going at all.”
“Something has to be done about the deer because they have our side of the country totally overrun. The roads are not safe. They are eating farmers out of house and home.”
“We are talking about there not being any fertiliser next year. For many farmers, there was no good in putting it out anyway because the deer got the benefit of it.”
Furthermore, he stated that foxes need to be brought under control in some way also.
The deputy highlighted the “devasting” impacts the loss of lambs due to predation by foxes can have on farmers.
“Every year, 30 or 40 sheep out of every flock finish up without a lamb because of foxes. That is the gospel truth,” he told the house.
Concluding, he sent a stark message to ministers. “If they want to prove their worth, they must do something about these issues.”