Oh deer, we have a problem
BEAUTIES or beasts? Woolgoolga residents have been left divided as sightings of feral deer in the town centre caused some heated discussion about their presence in the community.
Resident Peter Mitchell uploaded snapshots on Facebook of a herd of deer grazing on a large patch of grass near Woolworths.
Some users were delighted to see the herd, others expressed frustration over the environmental impact of the deer.
"They're spreading. Very cute, but they will eat your garden bare,” commented one user.
"Deer in our local community are an environmental disaster. They aren't cute cuddly animals but environmental vandals,” said another.
In recent months, there have been numerous reports of deer being hit on roads on the North Coast.
According to North Coast Local Land Services, deer are not formally recognised as a 'declared pest', and shortcomings of legislation have resulted in their proliferation in the area.
A representative from the Department of Primary Industries said a NSW deer management strategy is being developed and is expected to be completed by the end of 2017.
"DPI may suspend game licence conditions to allow for year-round hunting, hunting at night with the aid of spotlights and from vehicles, and the use of lures and other aids,” they said.
"Wild deer have been known to occupy habitat in the Bruxner Park area at low levels for decades and reports of wild deer have recently started to increase on the Coffs Coast with several animals struck by traffic on the Pacific Hwy in recent months.
"As part of the NSW Government's response to the Natural Resource Commission's review of pest animal management, Regional Pest Animal Committees will be established to better manage situations like this.”