Deer in the headlines, once again. Scotland’s native red deer have had much more press coverage than usual. The most recent news was surrounding the proposed cull on South Uist. A portion of residents of 93,000-acre South Uist Estate raised their concerns about Lyme disease, which can be spread to humans from infected deer ticks. Last week, about 200 members of Stòras Uibhist signed a petition calling for the removal of all the estate’s deer. However, yesterday, Islanders in South Uist have voted against the removal of all the red deer from a 93,000-acre community-owned estate.
Deer, Ticks and Lyme Disease
Ticks are associated with the countryside, and not just with deer. Interestingly, many other species of animals and birds also act as tick hosts. Ongoing research into the spread of Lyme disease suggests that deer possibly only play a small part. More on Deer, Ticks and Lyme Disease from the British Deer Society website can be read here.
Deer in the headlines is not positive news
Scotland’s red deer are natives to our shores, and are the UK’s largest land mammal. An iconic symbol used to promote Scotland and Scottish products, it is recognised across the world. Deer stalking is worth millions to the Scottish economy, and it provides thousands of jobs for professional deer stalkers, and managers. Deer stalking is a much-respected and long-established form of tourism and with it comes considerable benefits to rural communities. The wide ranging positives are incomes for hotels, guest houses, shops, game dealers, writers and photographers, and so on..