Landmines Approved for Deer Management

© Jamie Hageman

Highland estate managers have been given the go-ahead to use land mines in an attempt to bring down deer numbers, widely considered to be out of control in the Scottish hills. It's thought the 'flexible and easily deployed' new system could replace expensive deer fences as a way of managing the movement of stock.

Another positive outcome, according to landowners, will be a reduction in visitor footfall, leaving the countryside empty for the benefit of field sports enthusiasts.

Prototype testing in Gleann fealla-dhà  © Jamie Hageman
Prototype testing in Gleann fealla-dhà
© Jamie Hageman

Ever keen to spot an opportunity, windfarm speculators and pylon manufacturers are said to be watching the results with interest, citing high explosives as a possible way to achieve clear paths through obstacles such as native woodland, cultural sites, scenery, and communities, which they say are complicating the passage of new Highland power projects in the planning system.

The groundbreaking deer management regime, promoted by arms manufacturer Bombadeer De-Fence Systems Inc, was passed in a vote in Holyrood on Thursday, and has been approved despite opposition from hillwalkers and climbers who expressed concern over accidental triggering.

This is the first new deer stalking method to be introduced since the Grenade Bill of 2014, hailed at the time as an exciting new partnership model between Government, steakholders, and the arms industry, but since mired in controversy following a series of unfortunate incidents.

"From supersized electricity generation and transmission projects to ordnance-based conservation, outsourcing Government policy affecting the Highlands to big business and landowning types frees up Ministers from having to make decisions or take responsibility for anything that happens north of Perth" said a Scottish Government spokesbot.

Speaking at journalists soon after the landmark landmine result was announced, the bill's backer in Parliament, Dinah Mite MSP said she was "delighted for everyone concerned".

"I've been gunning for this for years" she went on. "It's a win-win for all - investment in the struggling defence sector, more tasty venison sausages, fewer hillwalkers, more explosions. This policy will go with a bang!"

When asked about the fear of accidental triggering by tourists and ramblers, her response was combative: 

"This will create added jeopardy and excitement for those that have made the ludicrous decision to head to the hills rather than spending their time and tourist pounds in country sports emporia. Let's hope it also knocks down the number of ramblers roaming all over private countryside as if they have a right to it. From deer to walkers, landmines are an excellent method of vermin control.

"Highland Scotland belongs to the energy multinationals and shadowy billionaires who've bought it and now expect to do what they like with it; everyone else should watch their step."

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