16% of deer tested in Co Wicklow were found to be carrying tuberculosis (TB), a pilot study has revealed.

The study, carried out by the Department of Agriculture, saw 103 deer in Wicklow shot by a licensed deer hunter and the carcases analysed. Of the 103 carcasses analysed, it was found that 87 did not carry TB, while 16 had “evidence of M. bovis”. M. bovis is a slow-growing, aerobic bacterium and the causative agent of tuberculosis in cattle.