The highest Dutch administrative court on Wednesday gave the go ahead to the cull of thousands of fallow deer living in the dune area west of Amsterdam.
The province of Noord-Holland wants to slash the deer population from 3,800 to 1,000 in order to reduce damage to plants and trees and reduce the risk of road accidents.
Animal protection group Stichting Faunabescherming had gone to court to have the cull stopped, saying it is unnecessary and the noise of the guns damages other other wildlife.
Officials hope to have reduced the deer population to 1,000 by 2020. Female deer will be targeted to keep the population down.
Efforts to keep the deer in the reserve with high fences and cattle grids have failed to contain all the animals and there were 61 traffic accidents involving deer in 2015.
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