Given the rapid growth, spread and substantial impact of feral deer in Tasmania, and that the population of these animals is projected to be one million by 2050, there is no justification for feral deer to remain classified as Partly Protected Wildlife in the Nature Conservation (Wildlife) Regulations 2021.
Tasmania is clearly on the cusp of – if not already in the midst of – an explosion in feral deer numbers and serious control programs need to be instituted. To effectively carry out these programs all bureaucratic hindrances must be removed so land owners and land managers can get on with the job of effective control.
It is fanciful to suggest that in 2021, with such high feral deer numbers and population growth, that this introduced species needs protecting to provide deer hunting and game opportunities at the expense of the environment, economy and public safety.
In our submission to the 2021 Tasmanian Wildlife Regulations Review we strongly advocate for the Partly Protected Wildlife status of feral deer in Tasmania to be completely removed from the Wildlife Regulations, however, we also put forward a number of other options to consider regarding removing the Partly Protected Wildlife status of feral deer.
In addition, all deer species need to be proclaimed Restricted Animals to prevent their introduction into Tasmania.
We also welcome the strengthening of the Draft Nature Conservation (Deer Farming) Regulations 2021, but believe strongly that to prevent the inevitable spread of deer into satellite populations through deer farm escapes, no new deer farms should be permitted outside the original deer range.