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Lincolnshire Deer Group asks drivers to ring police if they are involved in a crash with an animal





Drivers who hit a deer are being asked to only ever report the crash through the ‘correct channels’ amid reports of people offering on social media to deal with an injured animal, possibly for meat.

Lincolnshire Deer Group says it is aware of individuals who ‘advertise’ via social media to attend collisions – it believes with the intention of being able to take the deer’s body away for meat.

Fallow does. Photo: Ian Misselbrook.
Fallow does. Photo: Ian Misselbrook.

The overriding majority of deer hit by cars, says group spokesman Joe Beale, are unable to survive.

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Not least, he explains, because fallow deer are known to not rehabilitate or recover well and there aren’t the suitable facilities to try and nurse them back to health.

Stunned by the crash and often in severe shock, if the deer has survived the crash but is injured or unwell, Lincolnshire Deer Group will be called by police officers, usually to end its suffering and euthanise the animal.

Hitting a deer at speed can both seriously hurt the animal and cause significant damage to a vehicle. Image: iStock.
Hitting a deer at speed can both seriously hurt the animal and cause significant damage to a vehicle. Image: iStock.

Mr Beale said: “We don’t want that to come across in a bad way. But it is realistic.

“Fallow deer don't lend themselves to rehab. They’re shocked, they’re frightened, they don’t do well.

“They go downhill really quickly.”

Lincolnshire Deer Group will be called out by police when someone reports an incident to officers. Image: Lincolnshire Police Rural Crime Action Team.
Lincolnshire Deer Group will be called out by police when someone reports an incident to officers. Image: Lincolnshire Police Rural Crime Action Team.

With just over 100 skilled responders, properly trained, insured and using the correct equipment, Lincolnshire Deer Group has been involved in deer welfare for over 25 years.

The group says it has a ‘fantastic working relationship’ with police, through its official contract while the arrangement also means officers are fully aware exactly when any firearm may need to be used in a public place.

Last month the force’s Rural Crime Action Team issued its own appeal to drivers – urging them to slow down on routes known to be populated with deer.

Two stag fallow deer cross the road ahead of two cars. Image: iStock.
Two stag fallow deer cross the road ahead of two cars. Image: iStock.

But, with the number of deer vehicle collisions rising rapidly, Lincolnshire Deer Group wishes to remind drivers that should they be involved in a crash, their first phone call should only ever be to police.

The team, which earlier this autumn was behind the construction of neon ‘Think deer’ signs in known accident hotspots, has volunteers available around the clock via a pager system who can be called upon by officers the moment drivers report an incident.

New neon signs in areas prone to collisions. Image: Lincolnshire Police Rural Crime Action Team.
New neon signs in areas prone to collisions. Image: Lincolnshire Police Rural Crime Action Team.

But members are also concerned by reports of individuals who also offer to attend crashes, the group believes, in the hope of being able to acquire some venison to eat or possibly even sell.

A spokesman for the group said venison for human consumption will go through official checks, that deer taken from an accident on the roadside would never do.

“We don’t want that meat to go back into the food chain” they added.

In 2022 Lincolnshire Deer Group was called to 140 incidents – this year however that figure already stands at 193.

Lincolnshire Deer Group says more deer are becoming involved in crashes. Image: istock/fintastique.
Lincolnshire Deer Group says more deer are becoming involved in crashes. Image: istock/fintastique.

Alongside seasonal spikes in autumn when the clocks change, the group says an increase in fallow deer countywide is also thought to be behind the rising number of animals now encountering vehicles.

A driver who hits a deer should ring 101, giving as much information as possible about their exact location using What Three Words if possible.

However, if the animal has been hit but is mobile - and still near or running around the road - then 999 should be used instead as the deer’s unpredictable and skittish behaviour could quickly cause another crash.



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