Illegal hunting condemned following deer head discovery

People are being urged to report illegal deer hunters following the discovery of deer heads, legs and innards in Co. Westmeath in recent days.

The calls are being made by Athlone Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) following the grisly discovery on Sunday morning last (October 14).

Chairman of the ASPCA Billy Gallagher appealed to the public to report such actions on both Midlands 103 and Shannonside FM.

According to Shannonside FM, the heads of three Sika deer were discovered dumped at Derrycahill, in Ballyforan, Co. Westmeath, along with hooves and internal organs.

It was noted on the radio that, with the carcasses missing, the deer may have been killed for venison with alleged intention of selling the meat on.

Local Gardai are appealing for information from anyone who may have been in the area on Sunday morning, according to Shannonside.

Meanwhile, speaking on Midlands 103, Gallagher said: “Venison is a very very expensive meat that you’d see in top class restaurants and it’s highly valued, so they probably freeze that and that could be marketed at restaurants in Northern Ireland, England, anywhere.

You’re talking about a few hundred euros a deer; it’s very lucrative.

“That whole area between Cregg, Ballyforan, Ballygar; there’s a lot of forest there. A lot of it is Coillte forest, owned by the state, and there would be hundreds of deer there and they travel freely,” Gallagher said.