INSTEAD of calling for increased deer culling, the Scottish Wildlife Trust should be living up to its name and protecting wild animals in Scotland (News, 29 September). Two of the current main projects of the SWT are promoting increased deer killing to protect trees and eradicating grey squirrels in the hope that this will allow red squirrel numbers to increase.
Some aspects of deer “management” such as withdrawing supplementary winter feeding and allowing shooting in the close season can result in both adult and young deer dying from starvation. There’s no firm proof that killing grey squirrels benefits their red cousins, yet the SWT are actively involved in killing greys.
There is an obsession with planting trees at the expense of native wildlife. If people want to plant trees but avoid deer grazing on the saplings then they should be investing in tree protector sleeves and deer fencing instead of killing deer.
John F Robins, Animal Concern Advice Line