Shooters firm on hunting as viable control

19 Feb, 2015 01:00 AM

FARMERS feel there is nothing cute and Bambi-like about the booming deer population in several parts of NSW, and the NSW Department of Primary Industries agrees.

A spokesman for the department said "wild deer were known to cause damage to agricultural crops, pastures and forestry plantations and compete with livestock for pasture - other impacts include damage to fences, spreading of weeds and fouling of waterholes".

Despite this, no moves are afoot in NSW to declare wild deer a pest.

"The Game and Feral Animal Control Regulation 2012 allows the licensing regulation for game animals like deer to be suspended, where they are causing a nuisance or are required to be controlled due to their impacts," the spokesman said.

"To date the licensing regulations for deer have been suspended 21 times."

Because deer are not declared a pest like wild pigs, foxes or dogs, Local Land Services does not work with landholders to control deer, instead they have to apply for a control order to get help co-ordinating control programs.

The DPI said wild deer are managed in NSW through ecological deer management programs co-ordinated by the Game Licensing Unit and local pest management plans such as those in Wollongong and Port Macquarie.

"The current classification of deer as a game animal allows adequate control options for rural producers," said Shooter and Fishers Party MLC Robert Brown.

Mr Brown said deer were low on the federal government's rankings for agricultural, biosecurity, and environmental threats.

"Why should the taxpayers be saddled with the costs of controlling deer when the current model used in State forests, running successfully since 2006, has proven so effective at no net cost to the taxpayer," Mr Brown said.

"Hunting has recently been attributed with a contribution of about $400 million per annum to the Victorian economy - studies carried out by the Game Council confirm this level of economic benefit to NSW."

Last month the Greens started campaigning for a pest declaration for feral deer.

"Feral deer are the most significant emerging pest animal threat in NSW, causing major ecological and agricultural impacts," said Greens MP Jeremy Buckingham.

Jamie-Lee Oldfield

Jamie-Lee Oldfield

is livestock editor for The Land
Date: Newest first | Oldest first


19/02/2015 1:51:06 PM, on The Land

Deer are currently a lot easier to control than kangaroos. Landholders are not restricted in killing deer on their property. Declaring them feral would just mean the government would be able to come on your place at any time, wether you like it or not and shoot the deer and send you a bill. What would help farmers if making it easier to kill Kangaroos which are eating crops and pastures. If the Greens really cared about farmers and damage done by pests they would support this.
19/02/2015 1:52:48 PM, on The Land

FOOD HABITS OF DEER AND LIVESTOCK (McMahan) shows us that pasture makes up only a small percentage of the deer diet, and even then the competition with livestock is confined to spring. Where there is direct competition with livestock for fodder, the findings are that the deer loose out to sheep and cattle. The DPI spokesperson should educate themselves rather than recycling baseless Greens' propaganda.
19/02/2015 8:31:42 PM, on The Land

Jeremy Buckingham, pull your head out of your backside, mate. Pigs, goats, feral cats, feral dogs, rabbits all fade into insignificance compared to deer, you and your green friends are a bunch of hypocritical blood suckers, taking advantage of the gullibility of the ignorant masses that believe because the word Green is invoked that you are the saviours of the world, the day of reckoning is before you and your ilk, it will not be long before you and your colleagues fade into oblivion due to the fact that people are not as easily hoodwinked as you and your kind believe.
21/02/2015 9:46:28 AM, on The Land

Deer are also incredibly tasty critters & carry quite a lot of meat. If there were increased opportunities for Rec hunters to harvest the Deer (under the current licensing scheme) then they can be utilised more effectively instead of leaving them to rot in the paddocks after being shot from a helicopter in the case of so called "professional culling programs".


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