The SGA has reacted to the news that the South Uist community has voted to reject a petition to eradicate the island's deer. Community members took a vote at an EGM on Monday evening (20th) after hearing representations from petitioners and Storas Uibhist, which oversees the community-owned estate.
522 residents voted, with 140 voting in favour of eradication. 379 voted against wiping out the red deer.
Scottish Gamekeepers Association Chairman Alex Hogg, MBE, said:
“As the body representing SGA members and their families, who would have paid the price of deer eradication with their jobs, we are relieved for them at the outcome.
“We know it has been an incredibly worrying time for them.
“The gamekeeping team have carried out a record reduction cull this winter, in difficult and uncertain circumstances. They deserve credit for that. It was pleasing to hear Storas Uibhist also allude to the other work professional gamekeepers carry out; work which is of benefit to the wider community but is not always reflected solely in balance sheets.
“Skilled predator control, goose management and muirburn, for example, are public goods and it is positive these skills will be retained within the community.”