Deer are probably Australia’s worst emerging pest animal problem, causing damage to the natural environment and agricultural businesses. Populations are expanding and deer are invading new areas, many due to deliberate introductions by recreational hunters.
NSW has listed the damage caused by deer as a key threatening process and removed the protected ‘game’ status for feral deer on all private land. It now designates deer a pest species.
Victoria has listed sambar impacts as a threatening process and yet it, like Tasmania, continues to protect deer as a hunting resource.
The Tasmanian Government must develop a comprehensive feral deer management strategy that reduces the destructive impacts of deer and protects the environment and farmers.
More than a million deer now trample Victoria’s national parks, high country, coastal country and the Mallee. They are set to become one of Victoria’s most damaging pest animal invaders.
The Victorian Deer Control Community Network is aimed at reducing the growing impacts of feral deer on Victoria’s farming communities and natural environment.
The federal government has released a National Feral Deer Action Plan, and public submissions for the plan are now open. Please use this form to make a submission today.
Dear National Deer Management Coordinator,
Please accept this as a submission to the National Feral Deer Action Plan.
[Your personalised message will appear here]
I am very concerned about the spread of deer and am pleased that a national plan has finally been developed. Without urgent action, funding and commitment from all levels of government it is clear that feral deer will continue to spread and damage our environment.
The feral deer population in Australia is growing rapidly and spreading across the country, damaging our natural environment, causing havoc for farmers and foresters and threatening public safety. Unlike much of the world where deer are native, our plants and wildlife haven’t evolved to deal with these heavy hard hooved animals with a voracious appetite.
With no natural predators and an ability to adapt to almost all environments, they could occupy almost all of Australia unless stopped. Despite this, state and territory governments have been slow to respond and in Victoria and Tasmania they are still protected by law for the enjoyment of hunters.
This plan should be adopted by all governments but must also be underpinned by dedicated funding and clear responsibilities. A plan without funding or accountability is a plan that will fail and Australia cannot afford for this to fail.
In order to prevent the spread of feral deer and reduce their impact on our native wildlife, ecosystems and agriculture, I ask that the following recommendations be adopted for the final National Feral Deer Action Plan:
1. All federal, state and territory governments should adopt the National Feral Deer Action Plan and declare feral deer to be a priority pest animal species.
2. All federal, state and territory governments should commit to:
3. In order to drive action and the success of this plan, there should be dedicated Commonwealth funding and support for:
4. The expected outcomes for the plan need to be more ambitious, with clear interim targets including:
5. A national feral deer containment map with three zones should be adopted. It should be more ambitious than the zone map in the current draft plan and there should be greater clarity in the naming of the zones. Improvements that should be adopted include:
6. There should be consistent laws and regulations across all states and territories that:
I support the follow principles being adopted in the final National Feral Deer Action Plan: