A major parliamentary report on ecosystem decline in Victoria has been released after a lengthy investigation.
The report investigated closely the situation with feral deer and presented it as a case study. The report found that clear and consistent evidence illustrated that deer are a widespread invasive species, profoundly damaging to Victoria’s ecosystems, and that invasive deer species have a complex and seemingly contradictory status under Victorian legislation.
The report states consideration should be given to removing deer as a protected species under the Wildlife Act and that legislation should facilitate the effective and humane control of deer across all tenures.
This view follows the Senate report on the Impact of Feral deer, Pigs and Goats in Australia (2021) that came to the same conclusion, recommending that all Australian jurisdictions make any necessary changes to their existing legislative and regulatory frameworks to ensure wild deer are treated as an environmental pest.
Its over to the Victorian Government now to consider the advice of these two inquiries, which is timely given the current review of the Wildlife Act 1975.
The protected wildlife status of feral deer in the Wildlife Act 1975 is a key issue for the review. The consultation report from the independent panel reviewing the Wildlife Act 1975 makes interesting reading and is available below.