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Feral Deer Management Plan Needed

Dr Rosalie Woodruff MP

Dr Rosalie Woodruff MP  -  Sunday, 10 January 2016

Tags: Environment, World Heritage, Deer, Hunting

Rosalie Woodruff MP | Greens Environment spokesperson

Recent research from UTAS estimates there may be up to 1.1 million deer across Tasmania by 2050. Compared to about 30,000 in 2000, this is an alarming increase. The number of deer and the expansion in their range would be a huge threat to the conservation of wilderness areas and pasture-dependent agribusiness.

The government does not have any plan to actively contain the massive expansion of the feral deer population that has already occurred in the north-west, north, north-east and south-east.

Experience from feral animal management elsewhere shows that Tasmania needs to act quickly and put an active population control policy in place for fallow deer. Deer management has previously been skewed towards preserving recreational hunting activities, with only the passive issuing of permits for property owners. 

The state government needs to develop a non-recreational population control plan, and include the input of conservationists, graziers, recreational shooters and professional hunters.

Public safety is a priority, and any plan for deer shooting should be conducted within the existing firearms licensing legislation.