Letter: Deer hunting

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Sir: Whilst we have warned of the consequences of the National Trust's removal, at a stroke, of the system that has ensured a constant and healthy herd of red deer on the Quantocks for the past 90 years, we have been surprised and shocked by the speed and size of the cull by farmers no longer prepared to tolerate the damage to their crops.

For the sake of the deer, I implore the Chairman of the National Trust, Charles Nunneley, to take up the compromise (allowing hounds to cross Trust land whilst further scientific research is carried out) offered to the Trust by the West Country staghounds shortly before the last council meeting, which he apparently did not even put to his council at the time. Even at this late stage, I believe the National Trust can save what is left of our fine herd.

In the meantime I appeal to farmers on the Quantocks to halt the cull in the hope that the National Trust (and the Forestry Commission) will act in the next few days to allow the existing deer management system to once again work effectively.

NIGEL MUERS RABY

Chairman

Quantock Staghounds

Taunton, Somerset

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