Parliamentary Questions and Answers
Question 366 - Answered on 12th October, 2004
Tony Gregory: To ask the Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government the number of deer which remain in the wild following hunts organised by the Ward Union Hunt; the location of these deer; the reason they are not recaptured; the responsibilities of the Ward Union authorities in relation to uncaptured deer; and if he will make a statement on the matter.
For WRITTEN answer on Tuesday, 12th October, 2004.
Ref No: 24390/04
Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government (Mr. Roche): My Department is responsible for issuing an annual licence to the Ward Union Hunt Club. One of the conditions attached to the licence in recent years requires that, by a particular date, "the Ward Union Hunt Club shall inform the Minister of the number and sex of all deer released and not recaptured together with an indication of where such deer were last sighted".
The Ward Union Hunt Club has informed my Department that some deer prove elusive when attempts are made to recapture them. They assess each case individually and decide whether the animal should be left free or subjected to repeated attempts at recapture. I should add that the Ward Union Hunt Club hunting Code of Practice provides that any deer actively hunted, but not recaptured, will not be hunted again for at least 30 days afterwards.
The Ward Union Hunt Club has provided me with the following figures on all deer released but not recaptured up to the end of the 2003/2004 season: