Every year in Tasmania 15,000 carcasses of premium venison are left to rot on the ground.
Farmers, processors, chefs and shooters have joined forces to call on the Government to change its policy.
Around Tasmania deer are causing havoc in the agricultural sector.
Farmers, conservationists, processors, chefs and shooters are now calling for the Government to commercialise wild deer in Tasmania.
Unchecked, the feral deer population in Tasmania will reach One Million by 2050
Hunters and farmers talk about escalating deer numbers
Every year, 15,000 carcasses of premium venison are left to rot on the ground.
Hunters, farmers and conservationists talk about the waste
As deer numbers esaclate, so does the amount of premium venison left to rot.
This is a voracious feeder, decimating crops, destroying fences, ring-barking trees and competing with livestock for fodder.
ANNUAL COST TO TASMANIAN
Interviews with farmers across the state tell a consistent story. Damage from deer now costs individual farms anything from $25,000 to more than $250,000, annually. Assuming the average cost is only $25,000, the total cost to Tasmanian agriculture can be conservatively estimated at around $15,000,000. The fact is, no-one including the Government has a complete picture, and the actual cost could be much higher;
perhaps as high as $40 Million.
Every year more than 500 farms around the state apply for crop protection permits.
APPLICATIONS FOR CROP PROTECTION PERMITS HAVE INCREASED
400% IN 6 YEARS.
A recent policy change to the crop protection system has increased the number of deer that farmers can cull.
However, without any commerical incentive for anyone to utilise the meat, most are left to rot on the ground.
"There is only so much venison you can give away."
Under the current crop protection system culled deer can only be used for private consumption. There is not enough incentive for hunters to help farmers manage the problem in the way it should be managed.
A viable commercial industry can stop this waste.
Current best estimates put the number of deer carcasses left to rot at around 15,000 annually. This figure could be more.
The opportunity cost to the state could be as much as $3 million
15,000 deer left to rot equates to more than $3 million of
Tasmanian businesses have existing markets for venison.
Tasmania is missing out on an economic opportunity.
"This doesn't make any sense."
Across the state, farmers are saying the current restrictions on them in managing their own land, together with the huge wastage of valuable protein simply does not make any sense. Allowing a commercial value to be put on the wasted meat will assist in managing the increasing deer population.
If nothing is done, there will be 1 million deer in Tasmania
The damage is not only to farmers and landholders. Wild deer are causing significant damage to forestry and to vegetation regeneration projects. They are increasingly seen in urban areas around the state.
They are also causing road accidents. RACT data reports 37 deer collisions since 2014. Motorists have been hospitalised and there is a growing risk of fatalities.
* Potts, J.M et al. 2015. Predicting the future range and abundance of fallow deer in Tasmania, Australia. Wildlife Research 41(8),
TOGETHER WE CAN DO BETTER THAN THIS
The Government recognises that there is a problem and has extended the current crop protection permit system to allow more deer to be culled. Commercial use of deer will provide an added incentive to reduce deer numbers and maximise economic opportunities.
Your support can help the Government make this decision.