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New pragmatic approach to deer farms

Hon Steve Chadwick
Minister of Conservation

8 August 2008 Media Release
New pragmatic approach to deer farms

A new pragmatic approach to the regulation of deer farms will reduce administrative costs for farmers and enable the Department of Conservation (DOC) to focus its efforts on keeping parts of New Zealand free of wild deer, Conservation Minister Steve Chadwick said today.

“The changes to the Deer Farming Notice recognise that most deer farmers are responsible and there is no longer a need for those in low risk areas to be regulated by DOC,” Steve Chadwick said.

Steve Chadwick has approved a new Deer Farming Notice, effective from 5 September, which sets out where deer farming is allowed and regulates deer farms and safari parks. The previous Notice was gazetted in 1986.

“The updated Notice follows an extensive consultation process with the deer industry and other stakeholders, and many changes came out of that process.

“Currently all deer farms require DOC authorisation and are required to meet perimeter fencing standards. However, we recognise that the deer industry has set its own industry standards, and 80 to 90 percent of deer farms are in low risk areas which already have feral deer, so there is no longer a need for those farms to be regulated by DOC.

“Deer farming will continue to be regulated in the northern and upper western parts of the North Island, so we can continue to protect those areas from wild deer.

“The Coromandel Peninsula is an important conservation area and is currently free of feral deer – we want to keep it that way. The few existing deer farms will be allowed to continue, but no new ones can be established.

“The Department will continue to work with deer farmers in regulated areas to prevent escapes, and where escapes occur, ensure deer are recaptured or prevented from forming new wild deer populations.”

Each year the Animal Health Board, Regional Councils and DOC spend $400,000 in Northland, Auckland, Waikato and Taranaki controlling escaped farm deer and illegally released deer.

“This new Notice updates one that over time had become outdated. We are adopting a sensible approach to regulating deer farms which will ease the administrative costs for farmers and free DOC resources to focus on important conservation areas.”

New prohibited areas include the Coromandel Peninsula and Stewart Island. Safari parks will continue to need DOC permits and those wanting to hold less common species will continue to be regulated.


ENDS

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