Victorian Government announce region-specific deer control plan

The Victorian Government has announced Peri-urban Deer Control Plan to control feral deer populations. Picture: ON FILE

Victoria’s first region-specific deer control plan has been released for high-priority waterways, national parks and reserves in the Yarra Ranges.

Knox, Cardinia, Nillumbik, Manningham and Whittlesea council areas will also be targeted.

The plan sets out a long-term, coordinated approach to reduce the threat feral deer pose to the environment, farming, public safety and Aboriginal cultural heritage.

Minister for Energy, Environment and Climate Change Lily D’Ambrosio today launched the Peri-urban Deer Control Plan, setting out a long-term coordinated approach to control feral deer numbers in the outskirts of eastern and northern Melbourne.

“We’re taking action to safely control Victoria’s feral deer population and reduce the significant negative impacts they have on our wildlife and biodiversity,” she said.

“We’ve worked with local communities and experts to develop a strong plan which not only protects our environment from the impacts of feral deer, but also increases public safety.”

In addition, $250,000 of grants will be available to local councils and land managers to undertake safe control activities including sustainable hunting.

Feral deer cause a significant threat to native plants, wildlife habitat and water quality, as well as damaging community assets and sites of Aboriginal cultural significance. They also pose a risk to public safety, causing a rising number of traffic accidents.

The plan was developed in collaboration with Traditional Owners, land managers, local governments and conservation, hunting and community group representatives. It supports the Victorian Deer Control Strategy as part of the Victorian Government’s long-term plan to protect Victoria’s natural environment, Biodiversity 2037.

The Victorian Government has invested $18 million to reduce the impacts of deer, a key part of the Sustainable Hunting Action Plan. It complements the Government’s expansion of the areas deer can be recreationally hunted and legislative changes allowing hunters to harvest wild deer for personal use.

Minister for Agriculture Mary-Anne Thomas highlighted the role of hunters in sustainable deer control.

“Deer hunters have an important role to play in curbing the devastating impact of wild deer on our environment, which this plan will address.”

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