The new Nature Conservation (Deer Farming) Regulations 2022 come into effect from 1 July 2022.
A fact sheet detailing differences between the previous 2010 Regulations and the 2022 Regulations is available below:
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
The Frequently Asked Questions below provide understanding of the new regulations.
Q. What will a Deer Farm Licence cost?
Deer Farm Licences are to be issued free of charge.
Q. Can a licence be cancelled or suspended?
Yes. New Deer Farm Licences may only be granted if the Secretary NRE Tas is satisfied that a deer farm is unlikely to cause a threat to the environment, community, or property of another person.
They can be cancelled or suspended where the requirements of the licence are not met.
Q.What can I do if my Deer Farm Licence is refused, suspended or cancelled?
You can appeal to the Magistrates Court to have the decision reviewed.
Q.Do I still need to have handling facilities if I manage the health and welfare of my deer by shooting?
The new regulations allow for handling facilities to be required as a condition of a Deer Farm Licence when necessary to ensure the health and welfare of those animals that are being farmed. The Secretary has discretion in relation to requiring handling facilities when satisfied those alternative methods exist to manage the health and welfare of the deer.
Q. What are some of the requirements outlined in the regulations?
An important component of the new regulations is the introduction of a Deer Farm Licence system to ensure that fences are maintained to prevent deer escaping. Compliance requirements will also be introduced on handling facilities and tagging.
Q. Will all deer need to be tagged under the licence?
The new regulations may require deer farmers, as a condition of their Deer Farm Licence to mark or tag deer and keep records to establish ownership of all deer on their farm. This will ensure deer found in non-traditional and peri urban areas can be identified.
Q. Do I have to ‘deface’ the value of trophy stags with ear tags in order to satisfy marking/tagging requirements?
The regulations will not mandate every deer farmer to mark their farm deer but, if required as a condition of a licence, the method of marking will be determined by the Secretary NRE Tas. Methods that do not deface the ‘trophy’ value of a deer head may be approved. The Secretary has discretion as to what method of marking is used and alternatives exist that involve use of internal tags.
Q. How can farm deer be disposed of?
To restrict the unlawful release of farm deer into the wild, the new regulations require that farm deer may only be disposed of to another deer farmer or a processor.
Q. Why is it important that farm deer do not escape?
Fallow deer, unlike domestic stock such as cattle and sheep, are not domesticated, and farm deer once outside of the farm quickly revert to a wild existence. For this reason, fallow deer cannot be regulated in the same manner as domestic stock.
Q. How were stakeholders engaged in the development of the regulations?
The regulations were developed through significant consultation involving direct mail, information to deer farmers, personal discussions with individual farmers and members of the Tasmanian Deer Farmers Council.
What else is the government doing to manage deer across the state?
The first Tasmanian Wild Fallow Deer Management Plan was released on 27 February 2022. The Plan sets out the Government’s policy positions on deer management over the next five years. The Plan recognises abundance and geographic distribution of wild fallow deer are increasing along with the impact the species is having on agriculture, forestry, natural values and urban amenity.
When will the Wild Fallow Deer Management Plan be implemented?
Implementation of key policies and initiatives has commenced, and a full implementation strategy will be developed by 31 August 2022.
How do the new deer farming regulations fit into the Wild Fallow Deer Management Plan?
The new deer farming regulations support the management policies articulated in the Deer Management Plan.
Under the Regulations farmed fallow deer are regarded as those deer farmed for both commercial (meat and antler products) and non commercial (hobby farms) purposes.
The Application for a Deer Farm Licence form is to be completed by an applicant who intends to hold fallow deer behind wire. This form has been prepared to facilitate the application process. Information required includes the site of the deer farm, fencing detail and proposed stock numbers.
The form should be completed and the proposed deer farm site and fencing plans assessed by Game Services Tasmania prior to building any fences.
Fallow Deer Farm Fencing Specification Guidelines
To help provide clarity as to the minimum fencing standard required, please refer to the Fencing Specification Guidelines:
Other Legislative requirements for deer farm operations such as record keeping, requirement to provide receipts on disposal of any deer or product of deer, escapes and releases of farmed deer into the wild and their recovery or destruction are included in the fact sheet.
Renewal (Notices) to Operate a Deer Farm
The new Regulations replace a Notice to Operate a Deer Farm with a Deer Farm Licence with provision for a current Notice to operate a deer farm remaining valid until it is replaced by a Licence which will happen over the coming year.
During the next year, a Wildlife Management Officer will contact deer farmers to inspect their farm and explain implementation of the new regulatory requirements.
The Application for a Deer Farm Licence should be submitted if you desire to re-licence your deer farm:
Transfer or Cancellation of a Deer Farm
For those landowners who already have an approved deer farm but intend selling or closing the operation, please complete the Transfer-Surrender Deer Farm Licence Form:
Anyone wishing to establish a Fallow Deer farm should contact Game Services Tasmania to obtain relevant advice prior to commencing operation.