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Saturday, 9 December, 2000, 14:29 GMT
Castaways' illegal deer kill
Taransay Island
Taransay: Seven of the original 36 castaways have left
The islanders marooned for the BBC's Castaway 2000 programme were filmed illegally killing a deer, it has emerged.

The animal was captured and killed during a night-time ambush with a net and a stun gun.

The castaways were later filmed eating venison from the animal on their Hebridean island retreat of Taransay, where 29 people are taking part in the year-long experiment.

The Deer Commission for Scotland complained about the incident, which was broadcast as part of the Castaway 2000 series.

This was the safest, though illegal, method of killing the animal with the people present

Richard Youngson, Deer Commission for Scotland
An apology was broadcast on Friday night's programme.

And the commission said it would not be taking the matter any further, after noting that the killing had been safe and humane.

The commission's technical director Richard Youngson said: "I must admit that this was the safest, though illegal, method of killing the animal with the people present.

"There is an allowance that can be made where market garden crops are under threat and we are taking a lenient view in this case."

Wrong equipment

Lion Television, the programme's producers, admitted that the deer should not have been killed without prior authorisation.

It also acknowledged that the wrong type of equipment was used.

It said: "The Deer Commission for Scotland have advised us that no deer can be taken or killed without authorisation from the commission.

The deer was killed at night
"It is a condition of the authorisation that a rifle with a greater stopping power than the minimum prescribed in the Deer (Firearms etc) (Scotland) Order 1985 is used and not a captive bolt slaughtering instrument."

The commission said that the castaways also acted illegally by trapping the deer with a net and killing it at night.

A BBC spokesman said on Saturday: "The commission wrote to us to say that the deer had been killed illegally and a statement was broadcast on last night's programme.

"While the Deer Commission accept that the killing was safe, we agree that we would not want other people to copy the castaways' actions."

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See also:

18 Sep 00 | Entertainment
TV 'castaway' complains of bias
02 Sep 00 | Entertainment
Castaway heart-throb 'fed up'
29 Jul 00 | Scotland
Rare reunion for island Castaways
10 Mar 00 | Entertainment
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