Farmed deer

PIRSA is responsible for overseeing:

  • indentification of farmed deer
  • moving farmed deer in South Australia.

Keeping deer

You can keep, sell and move farmed deer if they are listed on your Property Identification Code.

On Kangaroo Island you also need a permit from the Landscape Board.

Farmed deer must not be released.

Fencing farmed deer

Custom built fencing is required for boundary fences of deer farms. Fences must:

  • be constructed and maintained to prevent the escape of deer
  • only be extended, replaced or altered in accordance with specifications for farms first registered with PIRSA after February 2019.

Fences and gates for deer farms first registered with PIRSA after February 2019 must:

  • be at least 1.9 m in height
  • be constructed using pre-fabricated deer mesh that is attached securely to poles that are a maximum of 8 metres apart
  • have a bottom wire (high tensile, either barbed or plain) that runs through staples on the posts and can be tightened as needed, and that is attached to the deer mesh no more than 50 millimetres above ground
  • have a strainer wire at the top of the fence, which is attached to the prefabricated deer mesh and posts
  • maintained (including gates) in a state of good repair in accordance with these specifications, free from any gaps, holes or damage; and be kept free from fallen trees or branches.

At least every 2 years staff from your Landscape Board will contact you to inspect your deer fence.

Ear tagging farmed deer

Ear tags help distinguish feral deer and farm escapees.

Deer over 12 months of age, and deer of any age being moved, must carry a permanent ear tag which has an identification number linked to the deer keeper’s property identification code. Large tags allow some protection from culling, if deer escape.

How can ear tagging of deer be achieved safely and effectively?

  • Tagging is dependent on having good yards and handling facilities.
  • Tagging should occur within the first week after birth when fawns can be handled easily.
  • Tag in the middle of the ear and handle the deer quickly and quietly.
  • Tagging of deer when they are older is best done under sedation. Contact your local vet or suitably qualified person.
  • Tagging can be done during antler removal (often October/November and Jan/Feb) or health treatment.
  • Tagging should not be done during the rut.
  • Contact other deer keepers for advice.

Escaped farmed deer

Deer keepers who notice a deer has escaped, must:

  • repair damage to fences
  • report the escape to the regional Landscape Board, or Green Adelaide.

If an escaped deer is found outside a farm boundary visible ear tags provides up to 7 days of protection from culling.

After 7 days the deer are considered feral, and must be destroyed.

Moving deer in South Australia

Farmed deer being moved in South Australia must have a permanent ear tag which has an identification number linked to the deer keeper’s PIC.

On Kangaroo Island you also need a permit from the Landscape Board.

Moving deer to South Australia from interstate

If moving deer to South Australia, they must have a Health Certificate.

If deer are from properties that have infected, suspected or restricted status for Ovine Johne’s disease or Bovine Johne’s diseases; the Chief Inspector of Stock must approve the movement before the deer enter South Australia.

More information

Page Last Reviewed: 07 Sep 2020
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