Deer shot on Dutch highway after activists cut nature reserve's fences

Horses and geese in Oostvaardersplassen near Lelystad
Horses and geese in Oostvaardersplassen near LelystadPhoto: GerardM / Wikimedia Commons

Foresters shot and killed three red deer on the A6 highway between Lelystad and Almere on Sunday afternoon. The animals escaped from Oostvaardersplassen after activists cut the nature reserve's fences in 21 places on Saturday night, reports. 

According to the foresters, the animals endangered traffic safety. They were shot after permission from the authorities. A spokesperson for forestry association Staatsbosbeheer told that all three killed animals were pregnant females.

"You can disagree with the Oostvaardersplassen report, but with the illegal nighttime activities, the activists endanger the animals, our employees and themselves", the spokesperson said to the newspaper. He added that the fences have now been fixed. 

During the winter period a total of 3,226 animals starved in Oostvaardersplassen. After mass protests, the management of the nature reserve agreed to give the large grazers in the reserve extra feed. According to the foresters, there is now enough food available for the large grazers. 

Some activists also climbed over the fences and spread bales of hay through the nature reserve on Saturday night. Three fines were issued. According to the foresters, activists would do better to make use of the possibilities for public participation to show their dissatisfaction.