Row over deer cull

By Country News

State Member for Northern Victoria Luke O’Sullivan has called on Victoria’s Environment Minister Lily D’Ambrosio to allow recreational hunters and shooters to be involved in the trial of culling deers.

But Ms D’Ambrosio has told Mr O’Sullivan to check his facts.

Parks Victoria has announced it will undertake a trial to try and reduce the number of deer in the high country of Victoria, but Mr O’Sullivan said they were going to use professional shooters, rather than involving Victoria’s recreational hunters and shooters.

‘‘The idea of a deer cull is a reasonable enough proposition,’’ Mr O’Sullivan said.

‘‘There is a need to reduce the high number of deer in some parts of Victoria as the numbers are approaching around a million and deer are starting to appear in areas that we haven’t seen them before.

‘‘But Victoria’s recreational hunters and shooters are skilled and knowledgeable and should be utilised for the deer cull trial.

‘‘Many recreational hunters and shooters have a wealth of experience and could provide a terrific resourcing boost to Parks Victoria’s control programs.’’

Ms D’Ambrosio said only a certain part of the trial was exclusive to professional hunters and shooters.

‘‘Mr O’Sullivan needs to check his facts — volunteers have been involved in deer control since 2015,’’ she said.

‘‘The main exception is the aerial trial component which is being carried out by highly specialised professionals for obvious reasons — to keep people safe.’’