§ 15 and 16. Mr. Leslie
asked the Secretary of State for Scotland (1) whether he has any information as to what proportion of the deer in the deer forests have been killed to make way for sheep and cattle;
(2) to what extent each deer forest is now stocked with cattle and sheep, or cultivated, relative to its capacity, when cleared of deer?
§ The Joint Under-Secretary of State for Scotland (Mr. Westwood)
From the returns received, it appears that over 22,000 stags and hinds were killed during the winter which has just passed. This is estimated to be about 9,000 more than in a pre-war year, but, as any accurate census of the deer population is impracticable, I am unable to say what proportion it represents. Up-to-date information as to the stocking of deer forests will not be available until the 4th June returns have been examined, and no assessment has been made of the stocks which could be carried if the forests were entirely cleared of deer. Steps have, however, been taken to secure that the grazing capacities of deer forests for cattle and sheep will be utilised this summer to the extent to which suitable stock is available.