1. ITV Report

Deer managers in Dumfries told to shoot Muntjac deer on sight

Muntjac deer Photo: Norma Chapman

Landowners are being urged to be extra vigilant after two Muntjac deer were seen in Dumfries and Galloway.

The deer are not native to the area and are thought to cause severe damage to vegetation.

Muntjac deer Credit: Norma Chapman

“We have to take all reports of Muntjac seriously. Most of the time they turn out to be false alarms, but in this instance the report was from a reliable source. We have contacted all the neighbouring land owners and urged deer managers in the local area to remain vigilant and shoot any Muntjac deer on sight if they get the opportunity.”

– Jamie Hammond, SNH’s Wildlife Management

The deer originate in China and, if they establish themselves in Scotland the SNH estimate it would cost up to £2m due to damaged crops and vegetation.

Muntjac deer Credit: Norma Chapman

"Muntjac deer are among the most destructive animal pests in Britain."

– Stan Whitaker, SNH

Muntjac deer have spread rapidly across England and Wales over the past 40 years and caused extensive crop damage. The small deer are originally from China and are now moving north. So far, they have not become established in Scotland. If Scotland did have to manage a Munjtac population, SNH has estimated the costs would be up to £2m a year.

“Muntjac deer are among the most destructive animal pests in Britain. They damage young trees and coppiced woodland and, where they are in high numbers, they can cause damage to cereal crops and orchards. They pose a particular threat to our native oak woodlands and bluebells.”

– Stan Whitaker, SNH

Scottish Natural Heritage Wildlife Operations Unit are investigating the incident.