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Cull of trapped deer will go-ahead say Sellafield bosses

Controversial plans to shoot a herd of trapped roe deer at Sellafield as led to a storm of protests – but bosses at the nuclear plant say the cull will still go ahead.

sm roedeer
Trapped: Dozens of people have taken to Facebook with many pledging to write to Brian May, inset, about the plight of the deer

An online petition has been launched after it was revealed the group of wild roe deer were to be culled after becoming trapped between two of the site’s security fences.

Campaigners also urged people to contact countryside campaigner and Queen rock guitarist Brian May, who recorded a song against badger culling, at, to enlist his support.

In just one week, hundreds of people have voiced their anger at the cull, and are urging Sellafield bosses to change their minds.

However, the company says it is acting on advice from experts from the Deer Initiative who say culling the animals is the most humane thing to do.

Hannah Bell, founder of Lakes Legal Ltd in Walney, Barrow, has started a petition against the cull, adding that Sellafield should have carried out a more thorough risk assessment before building the fences.

Asked about the petition, a Sellafield spokesman said: “We are aware of the petition, but would stress that the cull is not something we are doing because we want to, but because the experts from the Deer Initiative say it is the kindest thing for the deer.

“That advice won’t change because of public opinion or ideology, and we will continue to take the advice of the authoritative experts.”

David Harpley, conservation manager with Cumbria Wildlife Trust, said: “The Deer Initiative Partnershp are the experts and it’s one of those situations where you have to take expert advice.

“These are roe deer.

“They’re wild animals and live in territories and they defend their terrotory against other deer. What’s been unspoken is this is that we are in the middle of a wild deer population explosion, so finding space that is suitable for them that is not already occupied wouldn’t be easy.”

Mr Harpley added that attempting to drive out the deer from the area where they are currently living would cause them distress and potentially injury.

But since an article revealing the cull was published last week, readers have visited the News & Star’s website to vent their anger. Jacqueline Jewula, wrote: What gives them (Sellafield) the right to kill these deers? Do the right thing Sellafield and rescue them. It will do wonders for your image.”

Another outraged reader, Jamie Todd, said: “This is as much their land as it is humans.”

One person, who did not want to give their name as they were employed at the site, said: “Totally ashamed to say I work at Sellafield at the moment. That fence is on their territory, yet they must pay the price with their lives – wrong on every level, appalling.”

Marianne Birkby, of Radiation Free Lakeland, has also aired her disgust at the plans

The petition can be viewed at

Have your say

Well having thought about it logically I have concluded that if the fence was that costly then a proper assessment should have been carried out. Sellafield should be paying the price for their own cock-up not the deer

Posted by Biker on 2 February 2014 at 23:29

They are taking the easy, cheap way out. The deer were there before that fence. The deer should have priority.
Do the right thing SL and get a backbone

Posted by Jacqui on 1 February 2014 at 19:13

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