BASC is among Northern Ireland’s countryside organisations which have united in welcoming the deployment of the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) helicopter and drones in the fight to tackle deer poaching.
The additional PSNI resources have been forthcoming thanks to the hard work of the Partnership Against Wildlife Crime (PAW NI) Poaching Sub-Group.
As well as the British Association for Shooting and Conservation (BASC), the group also includes Countryside Alliance Ireland, the Scottish Association for Country Sports, the British Deer Society, the Forest Service, the Food Standards Agency, the Northern Ireland Environment Agency and the PSNI.
BASC director for Northern Ireland Tommy Mayne, who also chairs the Poaching Sub-Group, said: “Poaching is a wildlife crime and as representative organisations, BASC, CAI and SACS are at one in our fight to tackle poaching. We feel very strongly that anyone caught poaching should be prosecuted to the full extent of the law.”
John Hetherington, chair of the Northern Ireland branch of the British Deer Society (BDS), said: “As a deer welfare organisation, BDS also welcomes the deployment of the additional PSNI resources. Deer need to be managed and controlled humanely by trained deer stalkers using the appropriate firearms.”
The Poaching Sub-Group has also launched an updated version of the PAW NI Deer Poaching Leaflet, which is available from any of the member organisations.
Emma Meredith, the PSNI’s Wildlife Officer, added: “The PSNI are using the latest technology to help prevent and combat wildlife crime. The PSNI helicopter can be deployed and Small Unmanned Aircraft (SUA), more commonly known as drones, have been used recently to monitor ‘hot-spot’ areas where wildlife crimes are occurring. It is encouraging so many organisations have come together to tackle illegal deer poaching and launch this leaflet providing information on deer poaching, what to look for and who to contact. Police take wildlife crime seriously and on occasions, wildlife crime is linked to other crimes such as rural crime.”
Anyone with any information please contact PSNI on 101.