Forestry Commission staff in Zeeland are to begin shooting hundreds of fallow deer which have made their home on the island of Haringvreter in the Veerse Meer in October.
The cull comes after earlier attempts to reduce the size of the population were stopped in court in 2015 after just 15 animals were shot.
Since then the population has soared – increasing by one third every year, local broadcaster Omroep Zeeland said. There are now 650 deer on the island, which is 1.8 kilometres long and 600 metres wide. Experts say it can house just 150 of the animals.
‘People can’t moor their boats any more because the deer are on the dock. They’ve chased off all the breeding birds and some plants have gone altogether,’ a Forestry Commission spokesman said.
Thousands of deer have also been culled in the Oostvaardersplassen nature reserve near Almere and in the Dutch dune area near Haarlem.
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