Regulatory Reform Committee press notice

Session 2006-07 23 July 2007

Publication of report: Draft Regulatory Reform (Deer) (England and Wales) Order 2007


The Regulatory Reform Committee has recommended unanimously that the Draft Regulatory Reform (Deer) (England and Wales) Order 2007 should be approved.

The Committee's full report was published as its Seventh Report of the 2006-07 Session at 2.00 pm on 23 July 2007. It is available from all Stationery Office outlets (Ref HC 948).

The text of the report will also be available on the Committee's website from 3.30 pm on the day of publication. (www.parliament.uk/regrefcom)

Notes for Editors

The proposed Order would make a series of amendments to the Deer Act 1991 with the aim of making it easier for individuals to take action to control the deer population in England and Wales. It would also introduce various new provisions to that Act which aim at the enhancement of deer welfare, including the establishment of close seasons for kinds of deer which are currently not protected against killing at any time of year. In summary, the principal effects of the Order are to amend the 1991 Act to achieve the following purposes:

a) To permit .22 centre-fire rifles to be used for shooting smaller species of deer;

b) To allow any reasonable means of humanely despatching deer that are suffering due to injuries or disease;

c) To allow dependent deer to be taken or killed if they have been deprived of, or are about to be deprived of, their mother, at any time of year;

d) To enable licensed taking or killing during the close season to prevent deterioration of the natural heritage;

e) To enable licensed taking or killing during the close season to preserve public health and safety;

f) To enable licensed taking or killing at night to prevent deterioration of the natural heritage;

g) To enable licensed taking or killing at night to preserve public health and safety;

h) To enable licensed taking or killing at night to prevent serious damage to property;

i) To shorten the close season for all female deer to help allow better control of population numbers where necessary, without increasing the welfare risks for dependent young;

j) To introduce a new close season for Chinese water deer from 1 April to 31 October inclusive;

k) To ensure the close season applies to hybrids of a species as well as the parent species;

l) To amend the meaning of ₓmechanically propelled vehicleâ‚? in the Deer Act to permit discharging firearms or projecting missiles from a mechanically propelled vehicle that is stationary.

The draft Order incorporates a number of recommendations, which the Committee made when it first considered the proposal. The full details are set out in the Committee's reports on the proposal and the draft Order.

Since the passage of the Regulatory Reform Act 2001, more than 30 regulatory reform orders have been made. Copies of all proposals and draft Orders are available on the Cabinet Office website at http://www.cabinetoffice.gov.uk/regulation/reform/orders/index.asp

The Members of the Committee are:

Andrew Miller, Labour, Ellesmere Port & Neston (Chairman)
Gordon Banks, Labour, Ochil and South Perthshire
Lorely Burt, Liberal Democrat, Solihull
Mr James Gray, Conservative, North Wiltshire
Stephen Hammond, Conservative, Wimbledon
John Hemming, Liberal Democrat, Birmingham, Yardley
Mrs Sharon Hodgson, Labour, Gateshead East & Washington West
Mr Stewart Jackson, Conservative, Peterborough
Dr Doug Naysmith, Labour Co/op, Bristol North West
Mr Jamie Reed, Labour, Copeland
Alison Seabeck, Labour, Plymouth, Devonport
Mr Andrew Slaughter, Labour, Ealing, Acton & Shepherd's Bush
Ms Angela C Smith, Labour Co/op, Sheffield, Hillsborough
Mr Anthony Steen, Conservative, Totnes

For further information on the work of the Committee, contact Mick Hillyard, Clerk of the Committee (020 7219 2830); or see the Committee's website www.parliament.uk/regrefcom