Seven years after the first deer farming Advance Parties (APs) were set up, one in five deer farmers belongs to one of 28 APs operating across the country. When Primary Growth Partnership funding of the APs ends in 2023, DINZ says it will continue to fund APs and their close cousins, the Deer Industry Environment Groups.
Deer farmers appear to be growing their deer quicker. Growth rates for stags and hinds in the 2018 and 2019 seasons were 4 per cent higher than in the average for the previous four seasons. This amounts to 2 kg of extra carcass weight for a deer killed on 1 November.
Deer farming has a long history of striving for better environmental stewardship, but it has had to take a hands-on approach to getting its message across to regulators. Industry representatives have found the best way to communicate is through ‘deer 101’ farm visits for officials and training days for regional council auditors.