FREDERICTON. N.B. – Following a review of practices in other provinces, the New Brunswick government will permit the farming of captive-bred white-tailed deer.
“After listening to New Brunswickers and studying the regulatory systems across the country, we have concluded that white-tailed deer farming can be carried out in a safe manner in our province,” said Natural Resources Minister Bruce Northrup. “Those who wish to farm white-tailed deer will be able to obtain a provincial permit to raise animals for their own use or for sale outside New Brunswick.”
Four provinces – Alberta, Saskatchewan, Ontario and Quebec – permit white-tailed deer farming. Depending upon the province, deer can be raised for live export to other jurisdictions, for the sale of meat and other products, for hunting within enclosed areas or a combination of those purposes.
Northrup said New Brunswick farmers will be able to raise deer for their own use and for live export to other jurisdictions. They will also be permitted to import captive-bred white-tailed deer for breeding.
The provincial government will maintain its prohibition against pen hunting and farmers will not be permitted to sell white-tailed deer meat and other white-tailed products within New Brunswick.
“If we allow farmed white-tailed deer to be slaughtered and sold here, this would open the door to poachers who could sell wild deer meat and claim it came from farmed animals,” said Northrup. “This would be a serious threat to our wild deer population.”
Deer farmers will have to comply with provincial rules on fencing standards and identification of farmed deer in order to obtain a permit to keep white-tailed deer. Once existing deer farmers have been notified by mail, they will have six months to meet the terms necessary to obtain an operating permit.
Deer farmers will be required to comply with federal requirements related to disease tracking, testing and stock certification established for the inter-provincial trade in deer species.
“The rules established by the province and federally will mitigate risks to wild populations of white-tailed deer from escapes, disease and illegal trade,” said Northrup.