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Last Updated:  Wednesday, 9 April, 2003, 05:38 GMT 06:38 UK
Deer numbers 'on the increase'
The group says the survey indicates Exmoor has healthy deer numbers
There has been a large in increase in the number of deer on Exmoor, according to a Devon deer management group.

The Exmoor Deer Management Society (EDMS) says the ban on hunting and shooting, which was imposed during the Foot and Mouth epidemic, is the reason.

The group says deer numbers on Exmoor are up by almost 10%.

They say 3,100 have been counted on the moor this year, compared to 2,800 last year.

EDMS says the survey indicates Exmoor has a healthy and thriving deer population.

But the group is worried a hunting ban could lead to a decrease in numbers; perhaps as much as 90% over 10 years, as landowners begin shooting deer to control them.

But anti-hunt groups say there is no evidence to support that concern.

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