East Ross DMG News – November 2017

Posted by on Aug 15, 2019 in News and Events | 0 comments

The Stag season is now over and the Group has successfully completed the cull target set within our Deer Management Plan, agreed with Scottish Natural Heritage. Staff on all the estates within the group are now embarking on the culling of a number of hinds, in order to maintain the balance of the deer stock and to ensure that various habitats are protected.

The management of deer is a major financial commitment to most estates and this year Sporting Rates were imposed on all rural land, whether shooting takes place or not. Effectively this is a Land Tax by the Government, and differing rates will be charged for varying types of land ranging from lowland fields, forestry, upland grazing and moorland. This is a serious issue for a number or owners.

As a Group, we are committed to best practice, and the responsible management of a wild animal that lives on our lands. We have an obligation to employ staff, purchase equipment, carry out training and handle venison to industry standards. The rates that are now being imposed do not reflect the nature of the business being run. Whether an estate shoots 40,000 pheasants or one deer, the rates will be the same. If an estate were to decide to stop shooting, it would still be eligible for Sporting Rates. As it is clear that it will cost the Government more to collect these rates than the income they will collect, it is fair to question why these changes have been made. Politics moves in mysterious ways.

The Group remains positive and and will continue to fulfil its commitments. We will share our work with you. Our Group has welcomed a new member, with Forest Enterprise joining our numbers. The Deer Management Plan will include this change, and the amended document will shortly be available to view on our website.