Deer have been classified as a restrictive invasive animal under the Biosecurity Act 2014. Deer have to be kept under certain conditions to be classified as farmed deer. Breaches of these conditions classifies the deer as a pest. The Biosecurity Act requires everyone to take all reasonable and practical steps to minimise the risks associated with invasive plants and animals under their control. This is called a General Biosecurity Obligation (GBO)
Chital deer (Axis axis) were introduced to Rita Island in the 1970’s and during years of drought, such as we are experiencing now, have increased in population with a corresponding increase in damage to land and crops.
Council has been working with landholders on Rita Island to address the Feral Deer problem currently being experienced that is affecting crops and grass for stock feed.
In August 2015 Council engaged the services of a contractor with experience in pest animals and followed this up with a meeting with landholders on September 2015 to start determining a way forward. The notes from the meeting are available using the following link:
- Report on Public Meeting to discuss feral deer issues on Rita Island - (pdf 257.1 kB)
Following the meeting Council has been in contact with various organisations and businesses to gather information on cost effective ways to address the feral deer problem.
On 13 October 2015 the contractor’s report was submitted to Council and Council adopted the following recommendations in line with the report. In order of preference the options are:
- Aerial shooting (including mustering)
- Ground shooting
- Exclusion fencing
- Barrier fencing
The above plan is not rigid and may change with a change in circumstances to ensure the most appropriate control option in being implemented.
Trapping is currently being organised and should commence shortly.
The full report from FeralFix is available using the following link
- Report from FeralFix on feral deer management on Rita Island - (pdf 1.92 MB)
Council will continue to provide updates as available. Further information on chital deer or other pest animals is available on the Biosecurity Queensland website.