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Tuesday, 16 September 2014

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Animal rights group PETA joins fight to stop Sellafield deer cull

One of the country’s biggest animal rights groups has joined the fight to save the Sellafield deer.

Deer photo

Related: Sellafield deer cull backlash grows

The group of roe deer, which are trapped between two fences at the nuclear site, are set to be culled in the coming weeks.

The decision by nuclear bosses, who are acting on advice of experts including a veterinary specialist and the Deer Initiative, has caused a lot of controversy throughout the area and further afield.

The latest group to take up the cause is People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) who have offered advice to Sellafield to remove the animals rather than shoot them.

Kirsty Henderson, the group’s campaign coordinator, said that the organisation had recently been contacted by “concerned members of the public”.

“Killing deer which have become trapped after the erection of the fences in the area is extremely cruel and, as recent protests from local people have shown, damaging for Sellafield’s reputation,” she added.

Ms Henderson said that the deer could be removed “humanely and effectively” by simply luring them out of the area with food.

She has written to Sellafield and advised that a section of fence be opened and food placed as bait in the area.

“The deer will notice the food and revisit the area frequently,” she said. “You can encourage them to leave by placing more food outside the fence.

“Once the fence has opened, the deer will quietly leave, making the proposed killing completely unnecessary.”

However, Sellafield says it will continue with the cull.

A spokeswoman said that before making the decision to cull the ‘small number of deer’ Sellafield Ltd sought expert advice and explored and tested a number of different ways to safely remove them.

“We did so with no pre-determined ideology or solution, other than that a cull should only be carried out as a last resort,” she added.

“We have always demonstrated a responsible approach to wildlife management.

“In this case, before making the decision to cull the deer, we sought advice from a veterinary specialist, an ecologist and the Deer Initiative.

“The advice from our experts has not and will not change, despite the strong feelings which have been expressed.”

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