The NI Country Sports Fair has again refuted claims that a deer was injured in an alleged chemical attack at Scarva at the weekend.
At the request of the organisers of the NI Country Sports Fair, an independent vet has assessed the animal involved.
A spokesperson said: “The independent vet has confirmed that the deer exhibits no signs of burning consistent with a chemical attack. Furthermore, the vet has advised that there is evidence of various mixed abrasions that would be more indicative of conflict with another animal.
“The findings of the independent vet support an eye witness account that during the early hours of Sunday 28 May, he saw the donkey biting the deer, which was housed in the same enclosure over the weekend of the Fair. The eye witness also confirmed that he actually had to intervene and separate the two animals to prevent any further injury to the deer.
“The organisers of the Northern Ireland Country Sports Fair are deeply disappointed, distressed and alarmed, by the decision of various press and media outlets to publish their incorrect version of events, without any evidence to support their claims.
“Accordingly, the organisers of the NI Country Sports Fair are calling for the owner of the deer, Mr Kenny Gracey, and the various publications to retract their statements and issue a public apology as a matter of the utmost urgency.”
Speaking after the recent independent vet’s inspection, NI Country Sports Fair director Derek Lutton, added: “I am delighted to learn that the deer is recovering well and that there will be no long term effects.
“We take our animal welfare responsibilities very seriously and we work in partnership with animal owners to ensure the highest levels of animal welfare at the fair.
“We have been involved in organising outdoor events for over twenty years and this Fair is growing in popularity each year, with visitors attending from all over Ireland and beyond.
“The Fair has an excellent reputation and I therefore would like the owner of the deer and all those involved in the reporting of this incident to do the right thing and provide the public with the true facts.”