Tuesday 1st May 2012
Dog owners are being asked to keep their pets away from deer in the countryside and parks.
Leatherhead-based The Wildlife Aid Foundation (WAF) is concerned about the problem of dogs attacking or frightening roe deer, which are seen as particularly vulnerable.
Roe deer can be found in large numbers in Richmond and Bushy Parks on the edge of London as well as in many areas of countryside and woodland throughout Surrey.
A foundation spokesman said: "At this time of year the risk of dogs interfering with deer is a particular problem as there are many hundreds of pregnant deer in Surrey. Over the next few weeks hundreds of fawns will be born. Young deer are extremely dependant on their mothers for many months.
"WAF's wildlife emergency rescue team often has to deal with deer that have been savaged by out-of-control pet dogs or have simply been scared away from the herd by the presence of a dog and have run out onto a road."
Staff at the WAF have recently treated a deer which was injured by lurchers.
Simon Cowell, founder and director of WAF, said: "This advice is as much for your dog's sake as for the deer.
"If you are out exercising your dog in the countryside or if you are visiting a park and you see deer in the distance, make sure you have your dog under control, and if you are worried then please put it on a lead immediately."
Young foals should also not be touched or approached by people.