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Deer: 50% cull ‘necessary’

Around half of the UK's growing deer population needs to be shot each year to stop devastation of woodlands and birdlife, a group of scientists says. A study published in the Journal of Wildlife Management says this would keep numbers stable. The deer population is currently estimated at around 1.5 million. The researchers from the University of East Anglia suggest harvesting the animals for meat to make a cull ethically and economically acceptable. The Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RSPCA) commented that any cull must be carried out in a humane and controlled way and be supported by "strong science". There are now more deer in the UK than at any time since the last Ice Age. View the full article BBC

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