DEER MANAGERS have asked for 'the trust and the confidence' of Scotland's next parliament – and to be allowed to continue to do their job.

Ahead of the May elections, the Association of Deer Management Groups has issued a six-point Declaration for Upland Deer Management, and called on prospective MSPs to understand the complexity of the relationship between deer and rural economies.

Chair Richard Cooke said: “ADMG and the 50 Deer Management Groups will work with the next Scottish Government to continue to deliver on these areas. We are asking for the trust and the confidence of those who will make future decisions that affect our sector to allow us to continue to do our job, in collaboration with others from across a whole spectrum of management objectives, for the benefit of future generations, and for our deer.” A Declaration for Upland Deer Management

Mr Cooke noted that the 50 DMGs cover in excess of three million hectares – almost half of Scotland – and their remit extends far beyond deer, embracing many associated upland issues and increasingly supporting delivery of national and global commitments and targets: "There are positive and negative aspects to our wild deer requiring a balance to be struck in their management," he stressed.

The ADMG stressed that, under normal circumstances, deer management contributes £35.4m in operating expenditure annually, offset by £12.5m in revenue, as well as providing more than 2500 jobs in Scotland's remotest areas. Deer management related tourism, both high-end and affordable, was a necessary source of funding for deer management related employment. The safe supply of venison to market was crucial as was expanding future venison markets.