Councillors in Noord-Holland province have voted in favour of plans to shoot thousands of fallow deer which, they say, are damaging the fragile dune landscape and causing traffic accidents.
The vote, won by 35 to 18, ends the political decision-making process but opponents of the cull say they will now take the issue to court.
In total, the province wants to kill 1,785 deer in the Zuid Kennemerland national park and 2,885 in the water catchment dunes. The cull will take place over a five-year period.
Experts at the Alterra institute said last year the area, some 3,400 hectares in size, can only cope with 600 to 800 deer. The aim is to bring the total down to 1,000 by 2020.
High fences and cattle grids have failed to keep the deer in the reserve and there were 61 traffic accidents involving them in 2014, the Volkskrant said in December. The deer also damage crops, gardens and graveyards, the paper said.
Efforts to reduce the wild boar population in the Veluwe heathland area using an annual cull have failed. There are now thought to be more than 5,000 boar living in the area, more than before the cull started in 2008.
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