Richmond Park “Like a War Zone” Deer Activists Say

An illustration of the deer cull in Richmond

Activists protested on Monday against the first night of the annual deer cull in Richmond Park which they likened to “a war zone”.

Around 10 people gathered outside Richmond Park’s Kingston gate to show their opposition to the Royal Park Authority’s cull which aims to keep deer numbers under control.

Milda Bandzaite said “it’s like the holocaust” and promised to “campaign until they stop killing them”.

As well as petitions and letter-writing, the protestors said they would camp out in Richmond Park to protect the deer if they could get enough participants.

The park makes around £30,000 a year from selling the meat of the deer they kill although the park says “this has absolutely no bearing on our decision to cull”.

The protestors are sceptical of this and argue that the money is what is stopping the park pursuing a “humane alternative”.

Their favoured alternative is a contraception called Gonacon which has been used in the USA.

The Royal Parks Authority have said that Gonacon is “still in the experimental stage”.

They claim that injecting it is “highly stressful for the deer” and feeding them it “would impact negatively on other animals” who may also consume the chemical.

The park promised to keep its policy under review.

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