FERMANAGH police have seized two deer heads and carcasses as part of an enquiry into allegations of illegal hunting. The seizures were made in the Irvinestown area following reports that two red deer hinds had been shot in the close season.
Chief Inspector Graham Dodds, the area commander, said: “The Countryside Alliance, Ireland, states that deer poaching has reached epidemic proportions in some parts of Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland.
“Deer poaching tends to increase at this time of year, peaking in the weeks before Christmas. While hundreds of deer are lawfully and professionally culled by trained deer stalkers each year, many more are cruelly killed by poachers looking to sell the meat on the black market. “Poachers target deer indiscriminately and have no respect for females with dependant or suckling young.
“As well as taking animals, poachers are often responsible for thefts from farms and rural areas, so it is not just the local wildlife that is affected by them, but also rural residents. There are also the associated problems of threats to farmers and gamekeepers, along with damage to property and crops.
“This operation is not only about tackling deer poaching but about reassuring the rural communities and farms in the rural Fermanagh area that police in Fermanagh are tackling these issues.” One man has been reported to the PPS.