News - 30 September 2022

Tas Govt’s failure to declare deer feral species is poor biosecurity policy

Walls of Jerusalem National Park. Image: Jimmy Cordwell.
  • New Tasmanian Wild Fallow Deer Implementation Strategy 2022-27 fails best practice test

  • Sending recreational hunters into national parks in place of professionals is poor biosecurity policy

  • Not declaring deer a feral species - as some other states have - represents a failure to treat this biosecurity problem seriously

  • Feral deer are growing problem in lutruwita / Tasmania harming agricultural, conservation & Wilderness World Heritage values

The following comments can be ascribed to the Wilderness Society (Tasmania) and the Tasmanian National Parks Association:

We welcome the objective to eradicate feral deer from lutruwita / Tasmania’s Wilderness World Heritage areas and national parks by the Tasmanian Government as outlined in its Tasmanian Wild Fallow Deer Implementation Strategy 2022-27.

We also welcome the Strategy’s consideration of aerial shooting.

However, we are concerned by some key policy failures in the Strategy.

The failure to declare deer a feral species means the Strategy falls at the first hurdle and makes clear the Tasmanian Government’s priority remains hunting not conservation.

If on-ground shooting is required to control feral deer, it needs to be by professional shooters tasked with eradication and under direction of the state Parks And Wildlife Service. It’s not an opportunity for a shooting party.

For further comment: Tom Allen, Wilderness Society (Tasmania), 0434 614 323; Nick Sawyer, Tasmanian National Parks Association, 0414 718 831.