The following Press Release was issued by the Department of Agriculture, Food & the Marine on Thursday 2nd August 2018:

“Minister Andrew Doyle T.D., and Minister Josepha Madigan T.D., announce the joint signing of a contract for the “Provision of Deer management services in the Co. Wicklow Region

“Minister of State at the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Andrew Doyle T.D., and Minister at the Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaelteacht, Josepha Madigan T.D., today announced the signing of a contract with the Wicklow Uplands Council for provision of Deer Management Services in the Wicklow Region. The signing of the contract follows a successful bid by Wicklow Uplands Council, following a tender competition that took place earlier this year. This jointly funded project will run for three years and is designed to enable rapid local level capacity building and co-operation in relation to long-term management of deer populations in Co. Wicklow.

“Unsustainable deer populations have the potential to impact adversely on agriculture, conservation and forestry objectives, as well as road safety. Issues related to high deer populations frequently arise in Co. Wicklow, and are increasingly of concern to a range of land managers and conservationists in the county. Minister Madigan stated that “I am very pleased to be working with Minister Doyle on this important project for the region, the sustainable management of deer in County Wicklow is a significant issue for both land owners and those concerned with animal welfare.” Minister Andrew Doyle, said that “The objective of this project is the management of locally occurring deer populations within 3 newly established deer management units located in the Wicklow region. The project will put sustainable deer management within the county on a more professional basis and promote knowledge transfer in the county, as well as mainstreaming of the project and sharing of knowledge where required outside Co. Wicklow.”

“Unsustainably high deer populations have been an issue in County Wicklow for several years impacting on forestry, conservation and agricultural objectives in the county, as well as being a deer welfare issue in their own right. The guiding principles set out in the joint report called “Deer Management in Ireland, A Framework for Action” will be followed by the Wicklow Uplands Council during the three year term of the contract. The management of wild deer for example must take place within appropriate management, regulatory and spatial structures that reflect deer ranging behaviour and habitat scales, and the dynamic nature of modern land use practice and land use objectives. Minister Doyle said that “Wild deer should be managed in a sustainable manner, that is safe, humane, and ethically responsible, and that maximises the benefits of deer management to society”.

“This project will build on existing experience in the county, and will augment National level development in the area through the Irish Deer Management Forum and knowledge transfer measures”.

(end of press release)

Footnote: The Request for Tenders (RFT) for the provision of Deer Management Services in Wicklow issued in February 2018 (see previous posting here, dated 18th February 2018) valued the contract at €120000.00 (excluding VAT) over the three-year life of the contract (payable to the successful bidder).