Over 1,800 red deer can be culled in Oostvaardersplassen, court rules

Red deer in the Oostvaardersplassen
Red deer in the Oostvaardersplassen. (Photo: Pa3ems / Wikimedia Commons)

The court in Lelystad rejected the objections of nature organizations against the culling of over 1,800 red deer in nature reserve Oostvaardersplassen. Foresters can therefore cull the large grazers. No appeal is possible against this ruling, NOS reports.

The culling is expected to start during the course of next week. The exact start will depend on various factors, such as the location of the animals and weather conditions. 

Last winter nearly 60 percent of the red deer in Oostvaardersplassen died due to a lack of food. At the advice of the Provincial States, the province of Flevoland is reducing the number of large grazers to a total of around 1,100 - 200 Heck cattle, 450 Konik horses, and 490 red deer. The Oostvaardersplassen is currently home to 2,320 red deer. That means that 1,830 of them have to be culled or moved. The province opted for culling,  because relocation is too stressful for the animals.

In response to the court ruling, Marius Bouscholte of foundation Dierbaar Flevoland called this "a black day for nature in Flevoland". Faunabescherming also said it was disappointed in the ruling.