In Agriculture

Victoria Minister for Agriculture and Food Security Peter Walsh

Deer Control Made Easier On Private Property

Victor P Taffa

The Victorian Coalition Government has cut red tape to make it easier for private landowners to control problem deer on their properties without the need to apply for a permit.

Agriculture and Food Security Minister Peter Walsh said a new Order introduced under the Victorian Wildlife Act 1975 ‘unprotects’ problem deer on private properties.

“Problem deer can cause damage to crops, fences and other farm assets. They also compete with livestock and can impact native vegetation and biodiversity.” Mr. Walsh said.

“Previously, deer causing damage on private property could only be destroyed if landowners applied for and received an Authority to Control Wildlife (ATCW), or if they engaged licensed deer hunters.”

“This administrative burden often delayed control, and the new Order removes that burden.”

“The new Order also allows landowners to use a spotlight at night to destroy problem deer, which is proven to be a very effective means of control.”

The new Order covers the following deer species: Sambar Deer, Fallow Deer, Red Deer (including Wapiti), Sika Deer Red Deer hybrids, Rusa Deer and Chital Deer.

Hog Deer are not included due to their limited range and susceptibility to hunting. An ATCW will still be required to control problem Hog Deer on private property.

Mr. Walsh said there were several simple conditions for landowners.

“Deer can only be destroyed using specified firearm calibres and minimum bullet weights to ensure humane destruction, and anyone using a firearm must have the appropriate licence.” Mr. Walsh said.

“Only landowners on their own properties, their managers, permanent employees or agents are able to destroy problem deer under this Order.”

“In addition, anyone other than the landowner destroying deer on a property must carry written permission signed and dated by the landowner of that property.”

“This Order maintains deer as a game hunting resource while enabling landowners to efficiently control animals that cause damage on their properties.” Mr. Walsh said.

People who want to recreationally hunt deer will still need to obtain a Game Licence and act in accordance with the Wildlife (Game) Regulations 2012.

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