THE Bolton branch of the RSPCA has defended the charity’s decision to put down a deer — because it was too tame.

In a letter to The Bolton News, branch administrator Katherine Kay urged people not to withdraw support from the RSPCA because of the case.

The fawn — which had survived after its mother was killed in a car accident while she was pregnant in June — was rescued and taken to the RSPCA Wildlife Centre in Nantwich, Cheshire.

After a month, the male roe deer was taken to a centre in Norfolk with specialist facilities to rehabilitate deer into the wild. The animal was released into the wild last week, but the RSPCA said it was too tame following its release and it had to be put down. Mrs Kay said she herself had initially been shocked to learn of the culling but through her knowledge of the charity, she was sure it would have been the last resort. Mrs Kay, who has been involved with the RSPCA for most of her adult life, added: “People had been ringing in to us, mortified and disgusted.

“But there is obviously more to it and people had jumped to conclusions.

“People were saying the RSPCA couldn’t be bothered and that money was an issue, but that wasn’t true and it was hurtful to hear that.

“This must have been the last resort.”

She also urged people not to stop supporting the charity on the basis of this one decision.