Thermal Imaging Devices

DMQ recognises the advantages that hand-held thermal imaging devices can bring, both in terms of increasing the capability to detect deer as well as acting as an aid to safety by enhancing situational awareness in some situations.

However for the purposes of the DSC2 witnessed stalks it is currently our view that in order to best assess the field craft and stalking skills of individual candidates the following should apply;

  • For the purposes of DSC qualification, rifle mounted devices are not permitted and may not be used to complete any part of DSC 2 evidence gathering.
  • Independent hand held devices may be used to recover shot (presumed dead) or wounded deer, but may not be used to locate live deer as required under PC 1.5.

Where hand held devices are used to locate shot deer witnesses should satisfy themselves that the candidate has the knowledge to be able to locate deer if such a device was defective or not available.

It is not considered that these requirements will affect the majority of candidate’s evidence gathering. However, we do ask everybody to be diligent in observing the DMQ requirements.

DMQ Approved Witness Newsletter May 2018

Firstly, thank you all for your continued support of the DMQ awards acting as you have in your role of approved witnessing. This is an important and vital part in the structure of our system and your ongoing commitment is very much appreciated. There have been a number of changes and updates to the way we operate in recent months and I would ask you to particularly note the following:

Changes in the completion of the electronic Individual Cull Record (ICR)

A slightly modified version of the ICR has now been introduced, a copy of which is attached with this newsletter. Please save this for future use. This updated version is also available from the download section of the DMQ website www.dmq.org.uk In content, the new version remains unaltered other than the first page which you will observe now requires you to enter the time when a deer was shot. This change is to assist Assessors when reviewing candidate’s evidence to gain a better insight of events particularly when more than one ICR has been witnessed on the same day. Please be attentive to complete this new requirement.

Thermal imaging devices

Please note the following requirements:

  • For the purposes of DSC qualification, rifle mounted devices are not permitted and may not be used to complete any part of DSC 2 evidence gathering.
  • Independent hand held devices may be used to recover shot (presumed dead) or wounded deer, but may not be used to locate live deer as required under PC 1.5.

Where hand held devices are used to locate shot deer witnesses should satisfy themselves that the candidate has the knowledge to be able to locate deer if such a device was defective or not available.

It is not considered that these requirements will affect the majority of candidate’s evidence gathering. However, we do ask everybody to be diligent in observing the DMQ requirements.

Completion of an individual cull record

Frequently occurring are instances under PC 3.5 (Take appropriate action when carcass abnormality is identified, according to legal requirements) when no abnormality is identified and the ‘Yes’ box is ticked and ‘none found’ (or similar) is entered. If no abnormalities are found please tick the ‘No’ box and sign and date as you have done so previously. The Assessor will then cover this aspect by candidate questioning at the appropriate time.

There have been many cases under PC 4.2 (Transport carcass in a hygienic manner to maintain its quality) where the witness has driven their own vehicle to remove a carcass from the field to its destination. In this circumstance, it is the witness who has completed the PC rather than the candidate. Whilst such practice does not impinge on the evidence requirement, if anyone other than the candidate drives the extraction vehicle, please tick the ‘No’ box and sign and date as you have done so previously. The Assessor will again cover this aspect by candidate questioning at the appropriate time.

Issues with completing an editable PDF individual cull record

There have been several instances of witnesses struggling to complete and save the editable PDF cull record. In all cases this has related to the version (or lack of) Adobe Reader installed on a user’s computer. Download a compatible version from: https://get.adobe.com/uk/reader/. Guidance to overcome this has been sent to all witnesses but in the event of this having not been received, it is once again attached.

Approved witness list

Periodically, the Approved Witness List is updated to provide DSC 2 candidates with accurate witness information and to facilitate the addition of new witnesses. If your contact email, phone or address details change at any time, please inform DMQ to ensure any current list is up to date and accurate.

DMQ Assessor contact information

When first engaging with a candidate, they are required to provide witnesses with contact details for their Assessor so that completed ICR’s can be emailed direct to the Assessor. Attached is the most up to date list of all Assessment Centre Assessors to assist you should a candidate neglect to provide it.

The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)

Changes to data privacy law comes into effect on 25 May 2018 and has an impact on DMQ and the personal data we hold and how we use it. As an Approved Witness, you have previously agreed to have your name and contact details published on a list which DMQ provides for DSC2 candidates. If you no longer wish to have your personal information included on any list or you no longer wish to receive DMQ newsletters and correspondence, please email or write to DMQ informing us by 10 June 2018.

Please be aware that:

DMQ does use data to enable our customer service which includes tailoring the information we share
DMQ does respect your privacy and works hard to maintain it
X DMQ does not sell your personal data to third parties

Thank you all again for your continued help and support in your witnessing roles.

John Thornley OBE – Chairman of DMQ

Best Practice

Deer Initiative is now in an editorial role for both the Eng/Wales and Scottish Best Practice projects.  Ireland are adapting BP for their use also.

BP events are being held regularly across the country, keep an eye out for them on the Deer Initiative website www.thedeerinitiative.co.uk/best_practice/

Chronic Wasting Disease

Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD), also known as Cervid Wasting Disease, is a highly infectious, fatal disease which has devastated some populations of wild and farmed deer in North America.

CWD has very recently been diagnosed in four separate cases in Scandinavia, in a wild reindeer and also in moose. The risk of CWD entering the UK is therefore likely to have increased now the disease is present in Europe.

CWD is caused by a prion, a mutant folded protein, and belongs to the same group of diseases as scrapie, which affects sheep and goats, and “mad cow disease” (bovine spongiform encephalopathy or “BSE”). This group of diseases are known collectively as “transmissible spongiform encephalopathies” or ”TSE’s” ,CWD is the most infectious of these, the name suggests a body sickness but it is actually degeneration of the brain and central nervous system which is the main symptom.

A Working Group has been established to formulate a Government and industry response, building on the work of the BDS over the last few years. The following information leaflet regarding CWD has been produced by the Working Group.
For details on how to spot chronic wasting disease (CWD), what to do if you suspect it and measures to prevent its spread please follow the link below.

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/chronic-wasting-disease