DeerPRO update | Issue 170

Sep 3, 2021

With the end of winter in sight and a new processing season kicking off this is a good opportunity to provide an update on the DeerPRO programme.

A major undertaking last season was our strategic review. In late May a group of stakeholders from across the industry joined Scott Champion of Primary Purpose to review DeerPRO’s position and goals for the future. We covered a lot of material and Primary Purpose did a great job of distilling the key themes out of a busy day.   

We are happy to report that there was support for the programme to continue in much the same capacity as it does now, but with a careful focus on how it might support other industry initiatives. On-going cost savings and refinements will also continue wherever possible and we’re always interested to hear the views from within the industry and beyond about how we might improve our service.

Our DeerPRO reports will be distributed over the next couple of months. As usual they will go out to around 500 deer farmers. These properties represent three quarters of industry venison production and 92% of the lesions indicative of Johne’s disease that are recorded during processing.

If you do not yet receive this industry funded tailor-made information on the health and productivity specific to your deer herd please email us at

Johne’s disease control at the industry level continues to show encouraging progress. Overall the trend suggests a steady improvement in control, despite eradication not being feasible.  The overall rate of ‘JD-suspect lesions’ recorded by AsureQuality during routine carcass inspection of young deer continues to decline. The rate of farms processing these deer each month has remained steady over the last four seasons.  

DeerPRO wishes all deer farmers the very best for a productive start to the new season, a quick end to this latest COVID lock down, and a resurgence in the demand and returns for venison as the pandemic, hopefully, soon begins to wane.

Return to Stagline Online Issue 170 contents >>

Back to Industry News