The Cull


Deer 110313

According to media reports, experts have called for the culling of up to a million deer. I see deer every day and it is a sight I love. They run wacky races, play tag and hop, skip and jump, all in front of my kitchen window. They are the most graceful and fun-loving of creatures.
As a farmer, my unwritten contract with you all, whether vegetarian or meat-eating, is to feed as many of you as is humanly possible from the acreage I farm. This is done whilst also taking care of our countryside for future generations. Unfortunately, the damage done to the crops by herds of deer that often number 100+, can be catastrophic. Many breeds were introduced by nobility in the nineteenth century and therefore have no natural predator to control numbers.
I accept that some culling has to take place. Here on the farm, we have an expert shot who (very selectively) culls deer that are then used for meat. I have, however, heard horror stories of skill-less rifle-carriers, blasting away at any deer that falls within their sights without care or respect for their prey. This must be avoided at all costs.
Meanwhile, hardly a week goes by without another carcass lying on the side of the road which dissects the farm, following a collision with a truck or car. This is the visible side of a population explosion that arguably has its roots in the shooting ban imposed during the last foot-and-mouth disease outbreak.
It is right for everyone to join in the debate. But it must be remembered that most of you aren’t the ones who pull the trigger. Talk is cheap and emotions are high, but for the sake of the deer we must look at the problem with both compassion and reality.
There are experts talking
of a massed cull.
not of so-called
but of deer.

There has been much emphasis placed
on the deer’s ability to destroy
wild flowers and
in woodland.
What about the damage
to crops grown
to feed us?

The greater debate
should be the role
of food in society.

Until there is
no ham in Sandwich,
a lack of eggs in Egham,
and hunger in Hungerford,
the population
will not appreciate
the importance of food
for survival.

There is no nourishment
to be found
in the latest tablet or smart phone.
Even the most advanced app
lacks the ability to sustain life.

So lets talk with sense,
and realism,
leaving Bambi
to Blu-ray
and DVD.
Deer Grazing WheatTop picture shows the view from my kitchen window yesterday morning, the bottom picture a small herd on my wheat.

© Baldock Bard 2013

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One thought on “The Cull

  1. Well done Simon, a nice balanced blog. Though the ‘expert shot’ has been a bit useless this year!

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