1. ITV Report

Deer at Lyme Park have been put down due to illness

Up to 100 deer have either died or been put down due to disease Credit: PA

A number of Lyme Park’s fallow deer have had to be put down after falling ill.

Up to 100 wild deer have either died or have had to be euthanised since last winter, after succumbing to a liver fluke infection - a parasite which attacks the liver.

The affected animals are a breed of fallow deer.

The park’s 380 red deer meanwhile, which have been at the park as a herd for more than 600 years, are not affected and are continuing to thrive.

The National Trust, which runs the park, says that unlike the red deer, the fallow deer were not particularly well suited to Lyme’s environment and succumbed to the infection over time.

The park says it has been steadily reducing its wild fallow deer heard since last winter, in response to expert advice.

A National Trust spokesperson told the Manchester Evening News:

We manage numbers of wild deer as part of a deer management programme to keep the wild herds healthy - but in this case, regular veterinary check-ups as part of this programme revealed that the health of the fallow deer herd had deteriorated.

Veterinary inspections concluded that there was a vulnerability to the health and wellbeing of these wild fallow deer.

Having considered all other options, we reluctantly accepted that the only course of action was to remove the deer from the site in as appropriate and humane a way as possible.

Our primary concern at Lyme is to ensure our deer herds are a healthy condition, and to continuously monitor and maintain healthy stock.

We continue to regularly take veterinary advice in the care of our deer to ensure these beautiful animals remain a part of Lyme’s history and landscape, and as part of our established deer management programme across Lyme and other properties.

– National Trust spokesperson