Deer experts have labelled calls from farming organisations to cull 50,000 deer in Wicklow "armchair science" as reported in The Journal.
Wicklow had the highest rate of bovine TB in Ireland during the first 10 months of 2016, with farmers blaming the spread of the disease to cattle and other livestock on the area's native deer population.
Damien Hannigan of the Wild Deer Association of Ireland said that although the deer did need to be culled, there was no research done that would suggest numbers as high as 50,000.
He said that: "It’s important to state that in Wicklow or anywhere in Ireland, there’s no work in terms of numbers, there’s no trends in terms of population increasing or decreasing.
"So when someone says we should cull 50,000 deer in Wicklow, that’s completely armchair science or finger in the wind guessing."
Officials are currently testing the levels of TB in deer culled last year to determine a plan for the future, that will appeal to both animal organisations and local farmers.