Animal lovers will march through Kingston to protest against the shooting of deer in Richmond Park.

Campaigners want the deer to be given contraceptives to keep their numbers down instead of being shot.

Hundreds of deer have been killed in Richmond and Bushy parks in the past few years.

Organiser Lesley Dove said: “Many locals living close to the parks have heard the crying of dying and distressed deer during the culls and this is clearly not humane, whatever the parks authorities claim.”

But in previous years the Deer Society and the Deer Initiative of England and Wales, along with the Friends of Richmond Park, have supported the cull.

Miss Dove, who lives in Rectory Grove, Hampton, said about 40 protesters were expecting to march from Kingston bridge to the Kingston Gate of Richmond Park on Saturday, November 5, waving placards, leaflets and petitions.

Previous statements issued by Richmond Park manager Simon Richard said the yearly cull was necessary to maintain numbers at a specific level to avoid problems of disease and damage to the natural environment.

He said: “The British Deer Society and the Deer Initiative of England and Wales recognise parkland deer numbers must be managed and that removal of some of the deer is necessary each year to keep populations at acceptable levels.... [and] fully endorse the humane shooting of deer as the optimum method of deer control in the royal parks.”