Counting the Cost #1
Updated: Feb 10, 2020
Every Tasmanian farmer we have talked to tells the same story. Around Tasmania wild deer are causing havoc in the agricultural sector. Wild deer are voracious feeders, decimating crops, destroying fences, ring-barking trees and competing with livestock for fodder. Interviews with farmers across the state tell a consistent story. Damage from wild 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. Some estimates put the cost as high as $40 Million. NSW has announced a $9 Million deer control program. Victoria has introduced open commercial culling. Tasmania has the opportunity to take the reasonable middle road with a viable commercial trial that works within the existing regulated system. Traditional recreation hunting rights need to be protected. But farmers need more control over their own crops and livelihood. Please tell the Minister you support commercial use of deer culled under the existing crop protection system.