Hampton activist walks Richmond Park perimeter in sandwich board to protest deer culling

An activist completed a 12-mile walk around Richmond Park this Saturday in protest over deer culling.

Lesley Dove, from Hampton, walked around the outside of the park engaging with people and handing out leaflets to raise awareness about the contraceptive GonaCon on Saturday, February 4.

Lesley wore a sandwich board throughout the walk which meant she was not allowed to enter the park.

“There’s all this outcry about badgers, but not about deer. They have just accepted it around here,” she said.

The deer cull takes place every year in November and February in Richmond Park, and takes place in September and November in Bushy Park.

Another protestor, Shirley Nicoll, walked with Lesley from Kingston Gate to Richmond.

The Teddington resident said: “In this day and age it’s disgusting that we still do this. I just do not see the reasoning behind it.

“I suspect it’s because it generates money into the system.”

STOP THE DEER CULL: Lesley and Shirley

The deer meat sold from both parks raised more than £55,000 in 2014.

GonaCon is a wildlife contraceptive that is currently being used on white-tailed deer in the USA.

A Royal Parks spokesperson said: “If animals were not removed, food would become scarce and more animals would ultimately suffer.”

The park cannot give contraceptives to the deer as there are no contraceptives licensed for use in free-living deer in the UK.

“Darting deer with contraceptives is not an option, as it’s impossible to identify individual animals to ensure single dosing,” the spokesperson added.

“In consultation with our veterinary advisor, however, we annually monitor the worldwide development of technology to limit deer populations and will continue to keep our policies for the management of deer under review.”

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