IN THE SIGHTS: Property owners and licensed firearm owners will be able to cull feral deer.
IN THE SIGHTS: Property owners and licensed firearm owners will be able to cull feral deer.

Game over for feral deer

FARMERS  and landholders will be able to better and more easily control the feral deer population following a regulation change by the NSW ­Liberal and Nationals Government.  

Deer currently have a "game species" classification, meaning a special hunting licence is required to target them. 

Under the changes, a firearm licence holder will be able to target deer on private land - as long as they have landholder's permission.  

Member for Oxley Melinda Pavey said the local deer population had surged over recent years and a regulatory change was required.  

"These feral animals are causing significant damage to farms, fences, home gardens, and they pose a major risk for motorists," Ms Pavey said.   

"The NSW Liberal and Nationals Government is removing the deer's semi-protected 'game' status to allow landholders to better manage them  as feral animals.  

"Removing the game status will also bring deer into line with other feral animals such as wild dogs, foxes, rabbits and pigs."  

Over the past 10 years the distribution of deer across the state has increased from about  8 per cent to 17 per cent. 

The changes will come into effect on September 6 this year.