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The Deer Initiative


Brief description of the instrument and its modus operandi

The Deer Initiative Partnership, was established in 1995 to promote the sustainable management of wild deer in England, and was extended to Wales in 1999. It is a broad partnership of statutory, voluntary and private organisations with a shared vision for the sustainable management of wild deer

Which problem the instrument is supposed to solve?

The Deer Initiative was set up in order to address the following challenges: A) Deer often have specific impacts on vulnerable habitat as well as agriculture and forestry, tree planting schemes and green spaces B) Deer tend to range over large areas (beyond site boundaries) and need to be managed on a landscape scale, with collaboration between landowners c) Deer are among the largest wild mammals in the UK, and collisions with vehicles are serious and costly (annually up to 74,000 collisions with 10-20 human fatalities and up to 700 human injuries) d) Control of zoonoses and livestock diseases requires monitoring and surveillance in deer e) We need specific standards and skills to ensure safe, effective, humane management of deer - including in the urban environment

Purpose or main objective / overall goal of the instrument?

The aim of the Deer Initiative (DI) is “to ensure the delivery of a sustainable, well managed wild deer population in England and Wales

Side objectives/goals of the instrument?

To reduce the economic impact of deer on forestry and agriculture. // To reduce the occurrence of deer related traffic accidents

Innovation content or potential of the instrument?

A broad partnership of statutory, voluntary and private organisations working together on a “landscape scale.” See answer to Q12 below for a list of partner organisations

Which laws and regulations support the implement of this instrument?

No specific piece of legislation supports the implementation of this instrument, although the work carried out by the DI is closely connected to the support and enforcement of the Deer Act 1991.

The initiator/promoter of the instrument?

The DI is endorsed and funded by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) of the Westminster Government and Natural Resources Wales in the Welsh Government. However the DI has no statutory authority.

Which organizations are involved in the operationalization of the instrument?

The Deer Initiative Partners: a)Association of Chief Police Officers b)British Association for Shooting and Conservation c) British Deer Society d) ConFore) Country Land and Business Association f) Defra g) Forestry Commission (England) h) Forest Researc

What roles do these organisation play in each of them?

The organizations listed above are all members of the partnership and all have a role in promoting and delivering the Deer Accord, an action plan to promote the sustainable management of deer in the UK. The DI and partners, provide best practice guidelines (http://www.thedeerinitiative.co.uk/best_practice/) , training and support to land owners and deer managers, advise government, public and private partners on all aspects of deer management.

How the monitoring is ensured?

The DI was founded to: “raise awareness, provide advice, training and support to landowners and deer managers. We also advise our government, private and voluntary sector Partners on all aspects of wild deer management. This includes, for example, tackling deer-vehicle collisions, reducing deer impacts on vulnerable habitats and supporting deer management under Environmental Stewardship and Woodland grant schemes.” The DI have set up a “Best Practice Working Group in order to review and develop best practice in collaboration with the industry”. The performance of the instrument in Wales is controlled by the “The Welsh Government’s Action Plan for wild deer management in Wales 2011 – 2016”

How the compliance is ensured?

The only enforcement comes through legislation specific to deer management, e.g. the Deer Act.

How is the overall performance of the instrument?

From the DI vision statement: “We will have achieved our aim when there is recognisable deer management covering all areas of England and Wales in which wild deer are present. In many areas it will be necessary and appropriate for Deer Management Groups (DMGs) to coordinate this effort. These groups will need to understand and be able to demonstrate the nature of the dynamics of their deer population and what constitutes a sustainable balance at the local landscape level.”


The Deer Initiative website: http://www.thedeerinitiative.co.uk

Brief description of the context for the emergence of the instrument

Increasing deer numbers of all six species present in the UK. Planned increase in forest cover supported by government policy – both combine to signal that deer numbers and suitable habitat will continue to increase, therefore action has been needed to promote best practice, create management strategies and enforce legislation.

Have any of the items mentioned above changed since the instrument entered into force?



Specify: better understanding of and practice of deer management but hard to quantify or evidence

Source link

Full reference
The Deer Initiative

Year 1999
Policy area Forestry
Affected activity Harvesting/Production
Affected actors Landowner/land manager, Picker/harvester/hunter, Processor
Products Game
Subject NWFP
Promoter/initiator Public/private
Zone North West Europe
Countries United Kingdom
Regions (NUTS 2) West Wales and The Valleys
Focus on NWFP Direct
Document category
Instrument type Information
Legal status Non-binding
Geographical scope National
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