Will Hodgman

Premier of Tasmania

28 November 2017

Jeremy Rockliff, Minister for Primary Industries and Water

Getting the balance right with deer management

The Hodgman Liberal Government is ensuring a sensible and balanced approach to managing wild fallow deer.

We are maintaining our strong support for recreational deer hunting, while ensuring landholders can manage the unwanted impacts of deer, and supporting deer farming as an important livestock industry.

The Government’s response to the Legislative Council inquiry into the management of wild fallow deer, tabled in Parliament today, is based on extensive consultation with stakeholders.

It includes targeted control programs to manage unwanted deer populations in conservation reserves including investigating opportunities for regulated recreational hunting.

Further actions include:

  • Clear guidelines to reinforce Quality Deer Management (QDM) as the basis for the future management of wild fallow deer;
  • A new state-wide population census;
  • Establish a new independent Tasmanian Game Council that will advise on hunting, game management, browsing animals and deer farming;
  • Set up a new Game Services Tasmania with a primary industries focus in DPIPWE to support landholders, farmers and hunters to effectively manage deer and all issues relating to game and browsing animals;
  • Change to 5-year crop protection permits and explore further opportunities to reduce red tape to support farmers manage deer; and
  • Additional support to the deer farm industry with branding, marketing, processing opportunities and product integrity.

Tasmanian wild deer could also be on menus soon, as the Government is carefully considering allowing it to be sold as game meat.

The new game council is set to advise on the feasibility of a limited trial using special permits for deer farmers and landholders to supply wild deer products for the regulated food or restaurant trade.

The Hodgman Government’s approach to deer will also align with Tasmania’s Sustainable Agri-Food Plan and our target to grow the value of agriculture to $10 billion by 2050.

For a complete copy of the Government’s response visit: www.dpipwe.tas.gov.au

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