Workshops set to educate SA producers on feral deer control

Thanks to Livestock SA for writing this story

SA producers will have the opportunity to develop their understanding of feral deer control and the use of large-scale deer traps as part of a new project funded by the Federal Government’s Smart Farms, Small Grants program.

Livestock SA, in partnership with Parawa Agricultural Bureau, Ag Excellence Alliance and the Department of Primary Industries and Regions (PIRSA), received a $50,000 grant to showcase large-scale deer traps to support more productive and sustainable agriculture practices.

Newly appointed National Deer Management Coordinator, Dr Annelise Wiebkin, will be supporting these workshops and working with stakeholders across government, industry and community to tackle growing numbers and co-develop a National Feral Deer Management Action Plan.

She will be working with groups of farmers and land managers across the country to raise awareness and promote participation in feral deer management activities.

Livestock SA CEO Andrew Curtis said the proposed workshops aim to educate landowners, landholder groups, regional NRM and Landcare groups by demonstrating the effectiveness and benefits of large-scale traps through best practice training workshops and trial work.

“Large-scale traps will reduce the impacts and farm biosecurity risks caused by feral deer” Mr Curtis said.

“Our aim is to increase capability and promote landscape control of feral deer, improving productivity and sustainability of agricultural practices in SA,” Mr Curtis said.

“Training workshops are planned for mid to late 2021 to bring together those who are impacted by feral deer and further promote best practice in deer control.

“The new project will not only empower farming communities and promote community-based control of pest animals impacting productivity and sustainability, it will also reduce the impacts of illegal hunting and trespassing on private property.”

Mr Curtis said the funding will help educate producers on how effective traps can be to reduce the impact of feral deer on their land.

“Feral deer numbers in SA have greatly increased in the last decade,” he said.

“The competition for pasture, soil erosion and degradation of creeks and riverbanks together with damage and loss of horticulture crops are just some of the issues associated with feral deer which have an impact on agricultural production.

“Traps are an established method of capturing deer in areas such as NSW and New Zealand however, they are not currently used in SA.

“Trapping deer to a confined area, through the use of large-scale traps, can significantly reduce these impacts.”

Traps are currently installed in both the Mid North and Fleurieu Peninsula and trials will begin early next year.

Recent funding was also provided by the Limestone Coast Landscape Board to allow installation of another deer trap for further trials.