IT WAS eight years ago when my son’s car struck a deer in Glen Cluanie in the dusk. Seeing the poor doe as we gathered up bits of the broken car was not fun for either side. We were uninjured, luckily, and the vehicle was drivable. And the locals told us they rarely died from running over deer.
We were thinking about their latest estimate of 14,000 deer-car accidents a year with more than 100 wounded (“Rising deer numbers behind up to 14,000 road accidents a year”, The, Dec. 23). Where else will such levels of accidents, injuries, and possibly fatalities be tolerated in contemporary society without the involvement of health and safety officials to prosecute those responsible? Today’s population of deer is four times what it was when I was a young man, landowners are keeping it that way, and animals are now much less wild, used to and often fed by humans. No wonder they’re happy close to our main roads – until they get struck.
Reintroducing a pair of wolf packs would be the safest long-term option, and potentially the easiest short-term one. The first result of this would be to drive the deer out of the light underbrush, where they realize that a wolf attack would be defenseless. The killing of deer by their own predators, with many other environmental benefits, will be beneficial for the herd in the longer term. The reintroduction of wolves to Yellowstone Park in the United States a few years ago is strong proof of this; on YouTube, you will find a fascinating short film called “How Wolves Change Rivers” demonstrating the further positive results.
In Europe, there are approximately 12,000 wolves, and the number is rising year by year. In many nations, they are a protected species and there are compensation systems for damage to livestock in many areas. Unlike domestic dogs, I have never heard of attacks on humans and fewer than a few are cited on Wikipedia, so the danger seems tiny compared to the risk of deer traffic accidents. We could fit all the released wolves with GPS radios as well. What a fascinating source of data and testing data that would provide – and also ease some animal danger concerns.
So, a couple of packs of wolves on the A82 at Rannoch Moor, on the A9 at Drumochter Pass and maybe at Glen Cluanie? The issue is minimized, if not entirely solved.
Milngavie, Fergus Duncanson.
CATAPULT THE BID CATAMARAN.
So the good people of Mull have found a ferry, a catamaran, that would fulfill the needs of the island and can be purchased for 10 million pounds, or put another way, for less than a tenth of the cost of a piecemeal piecemeal designed by Ferguson (“Islanders plead for catamaran to solve ferry congestion troubles,” The , Dec. 30). Instead of black-painted squares, maybe even the catamaran is not all rust and has glass windows.
It’s not acceptable, CMAL says, but she would say that, wouldn’t she? The syndrome of “not-invented-here”. How relevant is the last page of the same problem to resolve this dilemma? (“Western Ferries hails resilience as pandemic leads to sailing fall,” The , Dec. 30). Western, which goes back to Islay in 1968, has a tradition of achievement where government entities have struggled.
Western could be encouraged to get its act together for a fraction of the money spent on Ferguson’s. I would expect it to operate at a profit in due course, like the catamaran from Pentland Ferries. Anybody crowdfunding?
Killearn, Scott Macintosh.
When can we go to get to it?
I noted with interest your front-page Hogmanay headline (“Vaccine nod sees spring jabs for over-50s,” The , Dec. 31).
We are waiting as a couple – one 84 years old and diabetic, the other 77 years old recovering from cancer care in 2019 – for any hint of when our vaccines will be issued by WE.
Younger siblings have also obtained their vaccines in both Clackmannanshire and London. Not another zip code lottery, surely?
Come on, NHS Lanarkshire, come on. Is our letter still in the mail?
Hamilton, Elspeth Russell.
STILL Informs CLASS, Sadly
There is an old saying that goes, “Every picture tells a story.” Given the image of students from Fettes College in Edinburgh working in the Gorbals, how fitting that is (“Remember when … From Fettes to the Gorbals,” The , Dec. 30). It is reminiscent of