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Liberal Nationals support deer meat for pet food industry

Wednesday 21 March 2018

Liberal Nationals support deer meat for pet food industry

A Liberal Nationals Government will work with hunting groups and pet food processors to expand Victoria’s pet food processing program to include deer.

Shadow Minister for Agriculture Peter Walsh said the Liberal Nationals recognised the role hunters play in controlling problem deer numbers and also saw an opportunity to further support Victoria’s pet meat processing industry.

Mr Walsh said Victoria’s deer population needed appropriate management to limit negative impacts on public and private land.

“Introduced deer populations must be managed, both for environment protection and also for safety on our roads,” Mr Walsh said.

“Expanding Victoria’s pet food industry to include deer meat makes sense because it makes productive use of hunted deer that may otherwise go to waste and it also supports jobs and investment in our hunting and pet food processing sectors.”

Record numbers of deer were hunted in 2016, with Victoria’s 35,000 licenced hunters recording nearly 100,000 deer – almost twice the average since 2009. In the same year, deer hunters contributed $142.1 million for Victoria’s economy.

Both the Australian Deer Association and the Victorian Farmers Federation have expressed support for expanding the pet food industry to include deer.

A Liberal Nationals’ Government would work with hunting groups and pet food processors to support control of problem deer on private and public land and subsequent use of controlled deer carcasses as commercial pet food.

Mr Walsh said similar to the Liberal Nationals support for making the kangaroo pet food trial permanent, including deer meat in the pet food program would be good for regional jobs.

“Daniel Andrews is standing in the way of new regional industry because he is scared of growing support for the Greens in Labor’s inner-city electorates,” Mr Walsh said.

“The pet food program is common sense. It makes use of a resource that would otherwise go to waste, creating jobs and investment in regional communities.

“Only the Liberal Nationals support our hunters and will give our pet food processors investment certainty by making the kangaroo pet food trial permanent and expanding the program to include deer.”