Australia’s first national feral deer management coordinator announced

2 October 2020
  • Dr Annelise Wiebkin has been appointed as Australia’s first National Deer Management Coordinator
  • Key part of coordinated action to tackle Australia’s feral deer population
  • $550,000 over the next two years to support the role

Dr Annelise Wiebkin has been appointed as Australia’s first National Deer Management Coordinator to lead coordinated action to tackle feral deer populations and reduce the damage feral deer cause to Australia’s agricultural businesses and environment. 

Minister for Agriculture, Drought and Emergency Management, David Littleproud, said the coordinator would engage farmers, natural resource managers and communities to increase their awareness, participation and motivation to control feral deer.

“Feral deer damage Australia’s natural environment and agricultural businesses by trampling plants, grazing and ring-barking young trees, fouling waterholes, causing soil erosion and spreading weeds as well as potentially, transmitting livestock diseases such as foot-and-mouth disease (FMD),” Minister Littleproud said.

“FMD is a highly contagious animal disease that would have severe consequences were it to be introduced into Australia. 

“Australia estimates that a small FMD outbreak, controlled in 3 months, could cost around $7.1 billion, while a large 12-month outbreak would cost $16 billion.

“The Australian Government, through a $20 million investment in the Centre for Invasive Species Solutions, is providing up to $550,000 over the next two years towards the new National Deer Management Coordinator role.

“Dr Annelise Wiebkin’s role will expand on a successful model employed by South Australia to facilitate more coordinated control of feral deer and establish links between farmers, commercial harvesters and processors.

“Other national coordinator roles such as the National Wild Dog Management Coordinator and the National Feral Pig Management Coordinator are proving very successful, and I know we will see the same successes with this position.

“I commend industry for their efforts in advocating a nationally coordinated approach to feral deer management and I look forward to  the development of a national plan for feral deer management.”

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Fast Facts:

  • The position will be hosted through the Department of Primary Industries and Regions, South Australia (PIRSA).
  • In-kind contributions will be provided by PIRSA, a number of local land services and the National Deer Consultative Committee. 
  • A 2016 survey undertaken by the Australian Bureau of Agriculture and Resources Economics (ABARES) found that land managers spend an average of $2,133 per year per property on feral deer control activities.
  • The management of feral deer varies significantly between states and territories with Tasmania, Victoria and New South Wales providing varying degrees of protection, legislating deer as protected game animal.