Home Australia Farmers on feral deer alert over biosecurity threat to cattle

Farmers on feral deer alert over biosecurity threat to cattle

Farmers on feral deer alert over biosecurity threat to cattle

There had been not not up to a dozen sightings of feral deer within the Northern Rivers house since a neighborhood consciousness advertising campaign began three months ago. 

Key points:

  • The Northern Rivers neighborhood is requested to file sightings of feral deer by the exhaust of an app
  • The district vet is concerned feral deer can even spread diseases to cattle herds
  • The first feral deer spotted on a property within the Byron Shire has been culled

Out of doorways the region, the destructive environmental and agricultural pest is already effectively established with its differ covering 22 per cent of the relate, or 180,443 square kilometres, according to NSW Division of Predominant Industries information for 2020.  

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Now the Feral Deer Alert program has prolonged to the Northern Rivers region — which has been moderately unscathed by the introduced species — to wait on prevent the population from spreading further.

Rachel Hughes standing in front of trees.

Tweed Shire Council’s Rachel Hughes says 12 sightings of feral deer throughout the Northern Rivers had been reported within the previous month.(



Tweed Shire Council’s feral deer mission officer Rachel Hughes mentioned there had been a huge response with sightings reported and photos uploaded to the FeralScan app.

She mentioned most of the sighting had been of single males, potentially shopping for label contemporary areas to broaden into.

“We would relate monitoring cameras up for a timeframe excellent to confirm that we contain contain motion by device of that house.” 

Ms Hughes mentioned she expected an lengthen within the selection of sightings reported.

“With deer, particularly with the mating season, you are most definitely to sight males out and about, and for the time being we’re in that rut season for bid species,” she mentioned.

Landholders socially distanced and wearing masks at a workshop.

Four neighborhood workshops on how to title, yarn and control feral deer had been held in July.(

Equipped: Tweed Shire Council


“Other folk weren’t truly on the lookout sooner than and didn’t truly contain an belief of what to sight, and now that folks are conscious that there are deer within the house, they’re initiating to watch them within the landscape, and that’s a upright thing.”

There had been sightings in both the Kyogle and Byron local government areas, however Ms Hughes mentioned most had been within the Tweed house, together with one being monitored at Crabbes Creek. 

“If those cattle are in season, there’s that skill that the male deer might maybe maybe feel reasonably amorous and want to mate with those cattle.”

A feral deer with a mob of black cattle.

A male feral deer with a mob of cattle on a Crabbes Creek property within the Tweed Valley. (

Equipped: Tweed Shire Council


Deer-cow hybrid?

With the growing feral deer population, and interaction with local cattle herds, need to aloof producers be worried they are going to also conclude up with deer-cow hybrid calves?

Northern Tablelands Native Land Products and providers district veterinarian Nigel Brown mentioned while the sexual act used to be physically that you just would also consider, conception used to be highly presumably not. 

A man in a navy jumper leaning on a white vehicle.

District vet Nigel Brown says feral deer can transmit predominant diseases to cattle.(

Equipped: Northern Tablelands LLS


Damage to a bovine liver from liver fluke.

Damage introduced on to bile ducts by liver fluke in an grownup bovine liver. (

Equipped: Northern Tablelands LLS


Dr Brown mentioned it used to be presumably not hybrid offspring can even outcome from mating between cattle and deer due to the huge variation between the species’ chromosomes.

He used to be more concerned concerning the biosecurity and productiveness threat that feral deer can even pose to cattle by device of transmission of liver fluke, Johne’s illness, and cattle tick. 

“There’s a file … on culled deer that clearly reveals that they carry liver fluke, and everyone is conscious of that issues fancy Johne’s illness … would be [spread by deer],” he mentioned. 

“Even uncomplicated issues fancy cattle ticks, the migrating animal can come up a tick in one relate, shuttle tall distances in a few days sooner than the tick might maybe maybe drop off and lay eggs.”

Unwelcome visitor culled

Earlier this month a cattle producer within the north of the Byron Shire spotted a younger male Rusa deer grazing alongside his livestock.

A young male deer in a paddock.

This younger male Rusa deer photographed by a Byron Shire landholder used to be later culled.(

Equipped: Byron Shire Council


Byron Shire Council’s biodiversity and agriculture mission officer Peter Boyd mentioned it used to be the first confirmed sighting of the feral pest within the house.

“Now we contain not had a reporting of yet one more one since, however I’m hoping it be not the originate of a constructing with deer coming into the Byron Shire.”

Mr Boyd mentioned the landholder used to be before every thing vastly surprised and then concerned for the protection of his kids and rang the council.

“A hunter used to be contacted who went within the market and dispatched the deer as soon as that you just would also consider,” he mentioned.

Deer are integrated within the list of feral animals that landholders are responsible for controlling below the NSW Biosecurity Act. 

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Farmers on feral deer alert over biosecurity threat to cattle