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Victorian Deer Control Community Network

Our work   |  Feral animals  |  Deer

Feral deer are emerging as one of Australia’s most serious environmental and agricultural threats. Victoria has possibly the largest deer population in Australia, estimated to be over a million animals. The feral deer population is expanding rapidly and invading new areas.

There are many organisations, institutions, businesses, groups and individuals in Victoria actively involved in feral deer control, research, campaigning or are directly impacted by feral deer. However, other than local networks, there is no statewide forum to share information, experiences and collectively seek solutions.

The Victorian Deer Control Community Network will provide a platform for statewide collaboration over matters related to feral deer.

We are now encouraging people and organisations to join and contribute to the network, the only prerequisite is being interested in reducing the impact of feral deer. To become a member please download and read our Terms of Reference before filling in the application form below.

The Invasive Species Council helped form the network and is providing executive officer support as well as website resources for the new community-driven initiative.

By 2030, a healthy and respectful collaboration of community, interest groups, institutions and government has resulted in the substantial and sustained reduction in the distribution of feral deer and the impact of feral deer on the community, environment and the economy.

To substantially reduce the impact and distribution of feral deer in Victoria.

The key roles of the network are, in relation to reducing the impacts and distribution of feral deer in Victoria, to:

  • Share information.
    Build knowledge and capacity.
  • Raise awareness in the community of the need for effective control.
  • Advocate for effective policy and control programs.
  • Advocate for adequate funding and resources.
  • Advocate for targeted research.
  • Identify opportunities for collaboration.

The geographic scope of the VDCCN encompasses anywhere in Victoria where feral deer are present or have the potential to be present. Matters for the VDCCN are those related to reducing the impact and distribution of feral deer in Victoria.

Membership application

Membership of the VDCCN is open to all individuals and organisations that are concerned about, directly affected by or are carrying out control programs or research related to feral deer impacts in Victoria and align with the purpose of the VDCCN.

The strength and influence of the VDCCN is only as strong as its membership so we encourage anyone interested in the control of feral deer impacts to join and contribute.  Its free and rewarding.

The benefit to you as a member is to make connections with people with similar concerns about the impact of feral deer and learn from others how best to address your issues.

The benefit to the community from your involvement is building a network that will raise awareness, support solutions and positively influence government policy, to work towards reducing the impact and distribution of feral deer in Victoria.

The Terms of Reference for the VDCCN can be viewed here: It is important to read these before joining.

If you are interested in becoming a member please fill out the registration form on the new VDCCN website.

A review of Victoria’s Wildlife Act is a chance to move on from the past by managing feral deer as a pest.

Dr Annelise Wiebkin is ready to tackle one of Australia’s worse emerging pest animal problems – feral deer.

Feral deer are probably Australia’s worst emerging pest problem, causing damage to the natural environment and agriculture.

Dear Project Team,

[YOUR PERSONALISED MESSAGE WILL APPEAR HERE.] 

I support the amendment to the Kosciuszko National Park Wild Horse Heritage Management Plan to allow our incredible National Parks staff to use aerial shooting as one method to rapidly reduce feral horse numbers. I want to see feral horse numbers urgently reduced in order to save the national park and our native wildlife that live there.

The current approach is not solving the problem. Feral horse numbers have rapidly increased in Kosciuszko National Park to around 18,000, a 30% jump in just the past 2 years. With the population so high, thousands of feral horses need to be removed annually to reduce numbers and stop our National Park becoming a horse paddock. Aerial shooting, undertaken humanely and safely by professionals using standard protocols, is the only way this can happen.

The government’s own management plan for feral horses states that ‘if undertaken in accordance with best practice, aerial shooting can have the lowest negative animal welfare impacts of all lethal control methods’.

This humane and effective practice is already used across Australia to manage hundreds of thousands of feral animals like horses, deer, pigs, and goats.

Trapping and rehoming of feral horses has been used in Kosciuszko National Park for well over a decade but has consistently failed to reduce the population, has delayed meaningful action and is expensive. There are too many feral horses in the Alps and not enough demand for rehoming for it to be relied upon for the reduction of the population.

Fertility control as a management tool is only effective for a small, geographically isolated, and accessible population of feral horses where the management outcome sought is to maintain the population at its current size. It is not a viable option to reduce the large and growing feral horse population in the vast and rugged terrain of Kosciuszko National Park.

Feral horses are trashing and trampling our sensitive alpine ecosystems and streams, causing the decline and extinction of native animals. The federal government’s Threatened Species Scientific Committee has stated that feral horses ‘may be the crucial factor that causes final extinction’ for 12 alpine species.

I recognise the sad reality that urgent and humane measures are necessary to urgently remove the horses or they will destroy the Snowies and the native wildlife that call the mountains home. I support a healthy national park where native species like the Corroboree Frog and Mountain Pygmy Possum can thrive.

Kind regards,
[Your name]
[Your email address]
[Your postcode]


Dear Project Team,

[YOUR PERSONALISED MESSAGE WILL APPEAR HERE.] 

I support the amendment to the Kosciuszko National Park Wild Horse Heritage Management Plan to allow our incredible National Parks staff to use aerial shooting as one method to rapidly reduce feral horse numbers. I want to see feral horse numbers urgently reduced in order to save the national park and our native wildlife that live there.

The current approach is not solving the problem. Feral horse numbers have rapidly increased in Kosciuszko National Park to around 18,000, a 30% jump in just the past 2 years. With the population so high, thousands of feral horses need to be removed annually to reduce numbers and stop our National Park becoming a horse paddock. Aerial shooting, undertaken humanely and safely by professionals using standard protocols, is the only way this can happen.

The government’s own management plan for feral horses states that ‘if undertaken in accordance with best practice, aerial shooting can have the lowest negative animal welfare impacts of all lethal control methods’.

This humane and effective practice is already used across Australia to manage hundreds of thousands of feral animals like horses, deer, pigs, and goats.

Trapping and rehoming of feral horses has been used in Kosciuszko National Park for well over a decade but has consistently failed to reduce the population, has delayed meaningful action and is expensive. There are too many feral horses in the Alps and not enough demand for rehoming for it to be relied upon for the reduction of the population.

Fertility control as a management tool is only effective for a small, geographically isolated, and accessible population of feral horses where the management outcome sought is to maintain the population at its current size. It is not a viable option to reduce the large and growing feral horse population in the vast and rugged terrain of Kosciuszko National Park.

Feral horses are trashing and trampling our sensitive alpine ecosystems and streams, causing the decline and extinction of native animals. The federal government’s Threatened Species Scientific Committee has stated that feral horses ‘may be the crucial factor that causes final extinction’ for 12 alpine species.

I recognise the sad reality that urgent and humane measures are necessary to urgently remove the horses or they will destroy the Snowies and the native wildlife that call the mountains home. I support a healthy national park where native species like the Corroboree Frog and Mountain Pygmy Possum can thrive.

Kind regards,
[Your name]
[Your email address]
[Your postcode]