The Irish Deer Management Forum has formulated and presented a recommendation on mandatory training, assessment and certification for licensed deer hunters, based on the HCAP model. This recommendation was adopted unanimously by the Forum for onward transmission to the Ministers under whose remit the Forum operates, at its meeting of 9th December 2015 and was submitted to the Minister for Agriculture, Food & the Marine and the Minister for Arts, Heritage, Regional, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs on or about 10th June 2016. A response is awaited.

The Recommendation is seen by the Irish Deer Forum and in particular by the deer organisations represented on the Forum as an essential tool in the achievement of the objectives set out in the Framework Document (Deer Management in Ireland: A Framework for Action, March 2015). It reads as follows:

“That the IDMF recommend to the Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht and the Minister for Agriculture, Food & the Marine that Certification of Competency from an accredited source in knowledge of wild deer species, disease recognition, management, culling and safe methods of control, together with marksmanship and safe usage and storage of firearms, be a mandatory requirement before the grant of a licence to hunt wild deer; and that mandatory certification be introduced on a phased basis over a five year period commencing on the 1st day of January 2018 for existing holders of deer hunting licences, and with immediate effect from the same date for all new applicants for deer hunting licences”.