Forestry commission workers shot dead far more animals in the Oostvaardersplassen nature reserve this winter than last year.
According to forestry commission figures released on Tuesday, 1,255 wild cattle, horses and deer were shot, up from the 761 shot in the winter of 2011-12.
The animals are shot to prevent unnecessary suffering during hard winters. The forestry commission is against putting out extra food because it considers the animals to be part of the eco-system in the reserve.
This winter saw long periods of frost and snow and extreme temperatures of 23º below zero, says the commission. As a consequence, many animals suffered from starvation and a large number fell through the ice on the lakes.
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