Deer being slaughtered in Wigan

Poachers are trying to cash in by slaughtering Wigan's rare protected wildlife.
Roe deerRoe deer
Roe deer

Confirmation of the heartless killing has come in the most graphic fashion possible.

Mounds of bloody deer entrails have been found dumped in a park waste bin - with more polluting a stream running through a nature reserve.

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Today the borough’s wildlife chief condemned the callous and illegal act.

And he believes that because of the specialist way in which venison must be prepared for the table, the meat itself will be “absolutely worthless” in such unskilled and unlicensed hands.

Leisure Trust wildlife and countryside manager Graham Workman revealed that expert butchery is required to prevent the flesh being rendered tainted.

And that would make it unsaleable to the unscrupulous elements of the restaurant trade which fuel it.

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The upsetting discovery comes hours after a Standish dog walker contacted the Wigan Evening Post to share his delight after a surprise close encounter with two “stunningly beautiful” roe deer bounding past them on former mining land off Bradley Lane.

The very first roe deer made a return to the borough two decades ago, much to the delight of naturalists.
The sightings were hailed as solid evidence of the progress the council’s massive environmental clean-up - Wigan had at one time more post-industrial derelict land than any other local authority in Europe - was having.

The population growth has been linked with the increasing forestation of the borough. And the huge new thickets of brambles: the deers’ favorite food.

Mr Workman believes that it could now be only a matter of time before red deer make an appearance, with fallow deer already having been seen.

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He is sickened that such callous acts using a crossbow or rifle can reverse the progress the authorities are clearly making in making Wigan a genuine wildlife haven.

Mr Workman said: “Deer are becoming established in Wigan, which is fantastic news. But the problem is we now have lowlifes’ poaching them.

“I responded to a call in Borsdane Wood in Hindley where somebody had been in and shot one and had left all it’s gut and innards in the stream of Borsdane Brook.

“And then we had two deer carcases, the skin and bones that had been dumped in the litter bin on one of the car parks at Haigh.

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“If you don’t do it properly, if you don’t know how to butcher a deer, you can so easily taint the meat within minutes of killing it.

“I will be amazed if the type of people that are doing this know how to do it.

“So I suspect they have ended up with something that is completely worthless.

“Maybe 20 years ago we had just a dozen roe deer across the whole of the borough but now it is getting a lot more established. And this seems to be bringing these people, who think that they can make a quick buck, out of the woodwork.

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“As a conservationist I know just how much hard work is still going into making the borough wild life friendly, so this kind of thing absolutely disgusts me.”

Mr Workman is urging any walkers who come across any people with guns or crossbows acting suspiciously to report it immediately to the authorities.

Those found guilty of unlicensed deer stalking can be sent to prison or fined - or both.