Animals should not have to be killed if it isn't necessary.
The Hunting Act defines a form of hunting called 'flushing out of cover'. It states that this is exempt from the law if five conditions are met. The last of these conditions is:
"reasonable steps are taken for the purpose of ensuring that as soon as possible after being found or flushed out the wild mammal is shot dead by a competent person"
The previous Government have states that this condition is needed because otherwise the exemption would be used as an excuse to chase and kill animals that had been flushed out. This makes no sense. If someone wanted to claim that they had accidentally chased and killed a fox or a deer then they would also claim that they had accidentally flushed out the animal.
The use of dogs to disperse and deter wild deer is an effective conservation method and is an alternative to culling them. It is also recommended by the British Trust for Conservation Volunteers.
There is no reason that deer should have to be shot in the circumstances outlined by the Hunting Act and this condition should be removed from the law.
It has recently been suggested by the RSPCA that actually animals can be flushed out of cover without being shot – if true the condition becomes meaningless anyway. We should not have laws we don;t have to obey.
Out on a trip to flush deer with more than three dogs without shooting them.
It should be legal to deliberately flush deer without shooting them.