On Tuesday the ECCLR committee held a further public evidence session with Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH). In attendance were Andrew Bachell, Director of Policy and Advice, Donald Fraser, Operations Manager (Deer and Wildlife), Claudia Rowse, Head of Rural Resources Unit, and Des Thompson, Principal Advisor for Biodiversity, Scottish Natural Heritage.
In summary SNH stood by the conclusions of the report, maintaining deer are having an adverse impact on the natural heritage. Whilst SNH concluded a consistent standard and evidence of progress could not be found amongst DMGs, it was acknowledged progress has been made and that by working jointly more progress can be made under the voluntary principle.
During the session, SNH indicated they wished to review the need to set a mandatory cull target and requested further time to consider this in full.
Papers for the meeting can be viewed here along with the official report of the meeting which is due for publication by 6pm on the 25th January.