Neighbour reacts to John Deer’s “senseless slaughter”
JOHN Deer's neighbour has penned a heartfelt letter expressing her grief and concern at the red stag's "senseless slaughter".
Helen Knight, who lives down the hill from the Eudlo farm where the deer was shot last Tuesday.
"As an animal lover and someone working within the animal rescue business fighting for animal rights, I find it very difficult to comprehend the senseless slaughter of a magnificent create such as John deer was," she said.
"Although I understand deer are seen as pests and possibly becoming a problem for our environment, I believe there are better ways to deal with this instead of shooting an animal whilst it lays peacefully with cattle that have become his friends.
"I understand they are not a protected species and, as such, anyone is with in their legal right to kill an animal considered a pest on their own land. However, this does not make it morally the right thing to do.
"Over the past three years we have enjoyed the peaceful presence of this majestic and elegant animal and delighted in his elegant trotting through the paddocks and gliding over the fences.
"We have never felt threatened or felt our animals, cattle or horses, or our land or fences to be threatened by the presence of this one animal.
"I do not believe our neighbour had this animal shot for it being a nuisance and hurting his cattle. His cattle have not one mark on them that could be from the deer.
"I believe it was an act of macho, egotistical, "look what a big man I am" behaviour.
"The fact the antlers have been severed and taken from the carcass and the carcass left to lay rotting in his paddock for three days shows just how little respect this man has for a life.
"A decent person would have arranged to have the animal relocated if it was causing problems or informed neighbours he was taking action and also organised for the meat to be used and he would have had the dead animal buried straight away instead of being left to rot in the heat of the sun.
"It saddens me to see we, as human beings, place such little value on the life of other creatures, whether big or small.
"Some may argue deer should be in the same category as toads, foxes and wild dogs and cats, even if this is so I still believe all these animals deserve a dignified respect for what they are and their survival abilities.
"I am not saying we should not cull in some way to protect our environment and native species, I am not that stupid and do understand the impact feral animals can have on our environment.
"But I do believe there are more effective, humane ways to control the population.
"The other aspect of this horrible event is the possible repercussions of using high-powered firearm in such close proximity of other houses, people and livestock.
"No consideration was given to any neighbour to forewarn us this was going to happen and so we had no chance to get our animals to a safer, protected place.
"We know speaking out against people and actions such as this is an unpopular and risky thing to do and we now have put ourselves in the line of fire for those who think us simple activists and trouble makers.
"But sometimes you have to stand up for what you believe in and respect for life of all creatures, I believe, is certainly something worth standing up for."