Farmed deer

Primary Industries and Regions SA (PIRSA) Biosecurity is responsible for overseeing:

  • deer identification
  • deer movement.

Keeping deer

You can keep, sell and move farmed deer if your property is registered to keep deer and has a valid Property Identification Code.

On Kangaroo Island, you also need a permit from the Natural Resources Management Board.

Deer must not be released from captivity under the Natural Resources Management Act 2004. This will prevent the establishment of new feral populations.

Identification for farmed deer

All farmed deer over 12 months of age must carry a permanent, identifiable ear tag, so they can be identified if they escape. Each tag must have an identification number linked to the deer keeper’s property identification code, according to the:

Determination on fencing and identification of Deer (PDF 184.2 KB)

Identification when transporting deer

Under the Livestock Act 1997 (administered by PIRSA) any farmed deer - including those younger than 12 months of age - leaving a property must carry an ear tag that is marked with the registration PIC.

This ear tag is used by PIRSA primarily to trace movements of deer for disease surveillance and chemical residue purposes.

Fencing farmed deer

Effective deer-proof fencing is required when keeping deer on your property.

According to the Determination on fencing and identification of Deer (PDF 184.2 KB) fences should be:

  • maintained and repaired regularly so that they securely confine all farmed deer
  • kept clear of fallen timber and trees.

An authorised officer under the Natural Resources Management Act 2004 will contact you and conduct an audit of your enclosure fences each 2 years.

New farms (first registered with PIRSA after April 2019) must adhere to new fencing standards which require all boundary fences of deer enclosures to be:

  • at least 1.9 m in height
  • constructed using pre-fabricated deer mesh that is attached securely to poles that are a maximum of 8 m apart
  • constructed with a bottom wire (high tensile, either barbed or not-barbed) running through staples on the poles and attached to the deer mesh, that can be tightened as needed
  • constructed with a strainer wire at the top of fence, attached to the prefabricated deer mesh and posts.

Contact your local Natural Resources office for further information on fencing of farmed deer.

Escaped farmed deer

According to regulation 28 of the Natural Resources Management (General) Regulations 2005 it is the deer keeper’s responsibility to notify neighboring landowners of escaped farmed deer.

Anyone who has been notified by a deer keeper about escaped deer must allow 48 hours before destroying, selling, disposing of any tagged farmed deer found wandering on their property.

Landowners who have seen a tagged deer on their property and have not been notified by a deer keeper are free to dispose of the deer, or contact any local deer keepers to capture or dispose of the deer.

Moving deer within South Australia

Farmed deer moved within South Australia must have an ear tag with their Property Identification Code on it.

Moving deer to South Australia from interstate

Deer moved to South Australia must be accompanied by a South Australian Health Certificate for bison, deer and camel (PDF 137.6 KB or DOC 74.0 KB).

The property of origin must not have the following status for Ovine Johne’s disease or Bovine Johne’s disease:

  • infected
  • suspected
  • restricted.

Animals from interstate properties with one of these statuses must get the permission of the Chief Inspector of Stock before these animals can enter South Australia.

More information

Managing feral deer in South Australia

Page Last Reviewed: 29 Mar 2019
Top of page