Minutes from Prag March 21st 2014

Federation of European Deer Farmers’ Associations-Annual General Meeting
Friday 21st March 2014


Czech University of Life Sciences Prague (CULS).


Those present:

Asger Wiuff Andersen, Hon Treasurer (Denmark)- AA;

Christian Bauer (Sweden)- CB;

Gintautas Čepas (Lithuania)- GČ;

Pedro Corell (Spain)- PC;

Dan DeBaerdemaecker (Great Britain)- DD;

John Fletcher, Secretary (Great Britain)- JF;

Uwe Joerß (Germany)- UJ;

Radim Kotrba, President and chairman (Czech Republic)- RK;

Juergen Laban (Austria)- JL;

Tomas Landete Castillejos (Spain)- TL;

Christoph Luder (Switzerland)- CL;

Morten Nystad (Norway)- MN;

Dainis Paeglitis (Latvia)- DP;

Jaroslav Pokoradi (Slovakia)- JP;

Annelies Timmerman (Netherlands)- AT;

Franz Vogelmayer (Austria)- FV.


Apologies were received from Paul Audenaerde (Belgium);  Bartek Dmuchowski (Poland)- BD; Katarzyna Susek (Poland); Katrin Hansson (Sweden) and Patrick van Aubel (France)


1.       The representatives were welcomed by the President (RK); who presented the minutes of the last AGM held in the Hotel Manhattan, Brussels on March 20th 2013.


2.       Matters arising from the Minutes: JF asked what progress had been made with registering FEDFA as had been discussed in 2013. RK explained that the registration had been in relation to VAT and FEDFA had only previously registered for VAT when a separate company had been formed to organise the World Deer Farming Congress in Ireland.  It was now thought that no formal registration of FEDFA was necessary. AA pointed out that unless there was significant cash flow, VAT registration was not possible.


3.       Financial Report . AA presented the Financial Report. He had succeeded in changing the bank which was a long slow job. The Balance held by FEDFA was € 13,201.60. The only unusual outgoings had been the carved fallow antler presented to Tony Armitage, and the President’s expenses incurred attending the game farming expert panel dealing with meat safety at EFSA in Parma.

Arrears of income from subscriptions (still maintained at €165/per member per annum) were discussed. Ireland was now three years behind and all efforts to trace an organisation there had failed and it was therefore considered that Ireland should no longer be a member. JF agreed to make one last approach to a veterinary colleague in Ireland, Jim Walsh, to see if he could help. Latvia was also three years behind but this appeared to be due to a failure of communication and DP agreed to arrange payment immediately. Slovakia had now paid (JP); France, Netherlands and Poland were also still in arrears.

The President thanked Asger for all his vital work on the accounts.



4.       President’s Report. RK described his progress in creating official EU recognition of deer farming as a possible organic enterprise and the expert meeting held in Parma which had fully accepted that deer farming posed no particular biohazards. He circulated just before Spring meeting two documents prepared out of that expert meeting.

The President described the autumn meeting held at Woburn and thanked the British Deer Farms and Parks Association for all their work in organising a very successful event.

There had also been the meeting in Spain which had resulted in the formation of IDUBA which was a body organised to further the interests of worldwide breeders of all species of ungulate game species – thus including deer and wild boar. TL who had been the moving force behind this formation explained that IDUBA now employed a full time secretary and was able to undertake relevant translation at short notice as well as consultancy services. DP had been appointed as IDUBA Vice President. TL announced that the next meeting of IDUBA would be held in the autumn as usual and this year it would be held in Latvia during antler evaluation contest (organised by DP) at a date still to be confirmed.


5.       The President proceeded to election of new office bearers. MN (Norway) was the incoming President and TL as First Vice-President unopposed and both will continue for 24 months. Following the voting last year DP and JF kept their nominations for second vice-president however DP and JF did not wish to stand. Therefore there was another nomination for Uwe Joerß (UJ) and Dan DeBaerdemaecker (DD). The ballot voting resulted in selection of UJ to stand as Second Vice President for another 24 months.

 JF also indicated that he wished to cease being Secretary-General. RK asked FV whether he might be persuaded to become Secretary, however FV stated clearly that he felt it was time for him to stand aside. JF thanked FV on behalf of all delegates for his extremely valuable contributions to FEDFA over many years also as later member of Presidium as Past President. RK agreed to take on the Secretarial work: the Presidium therefore stands as follows for 2014 and 2015: President- Morten Nystad; First Vice President- Tomas Landete; Second Vice President- Dainis Paeglitis; Past President and Secretary General- Radim Kotrba (Maugli).

TL thanked Maugli (RK) for his great energy and enthusiasm over the past two years and the delegates all joined in offering their thanks.



6.       The new President explained that he proposed to prepare a plan of action for the next twelve months and ensure that as much of that was achieved as possible. He felt that the Yahoo group was not functioning and suggested that instead members keep in contact by using the Reply All facility on e-mails. RK also mentioned the recent great experience with teleconference as proper tool to discuss arising matters out of personal meetings. MN also wished to bring the website up to date and agreed to liaise with Rolf who had expressed an interest in continuing to be involved with the site.


7.       Full national reports were held over until the Management Committee meeting but delegates confirmed their e-mail addresses and the countries which they were representing.

As follows:


8.       There was discussion over the Common Agricultural Policy and the changes which will take place from 2015. DP raised the question of coupled support i.e. that paid per head. JF explained that he had tried to have FEDFA representatives lobby their national governments to vote in Brussels for deer to be included on the list of enterprises eligible for coupled payment however in the event only Scotland had voted for deer to be included which made it hopeless to press further. JF was speaking about CAP payments in Scotland. Pillar 1 most important for farmers, this is based on area. It is based on zones: 1) arable land 225 €/ha; 2) permanent grassland unimproved (i.e. what may hold deer), 25 €/ha). These supports can be helpful later involving greening criteria, but it can be improved for farming, not for deer farming itself. Pillar 2. help to specific projects, which means rural development. Scotland has a Food & Drink scheme in Scotland which has paid to establish abattoirs.

Switzerland is paying 150 €/ha. The payment is higher, the higher the altitude in the Alps.
Germany, 260 €/ha. Up to 30 ha, the farmer gets 50 €/ha more. The next step redistribution payments based on size of area, the farmer does not get 50, but 30€/ha if he will have area over certain acreage.

Netherlands. Deer has been excluded from payments- they follow system of modified historical basis.


JF was very keen that FDEFA continue to lobby within Brussels probably through COPA to ensure that deer were treated throughout Europe as livestock. After some twenty years this had now been achieved in Britain and even in Scotland so that from 2015 deer farmers will be included as recipients of Basic Payments under Pillar 1 in the same way as cattle and sheep. He suggested that any countries which were excluded now should use the British example as showing the way in which payments could be made. RK mentioned that Czech representative in COPA COGECA is trying to lobby to include deer also for Pillar 2. RK mentioned also that in Pillar 2 there is Article 24 on establishing of agro-forestry systems which can be suitable to established or enlarge deer farms with combination of tree production on agricultural (no forest) land.


9.       The date and venue of the next AGM were still to be confirmed but it was agreed that the venue in Prague at CULS was ideal being economical and easy to reach.


10.   There was no other business and the meeting was closed.



Federation of European Deer Farmers’ Associations- Management Committee Meeting

Friday 21st March 2014

Czech University of Life Sciences Prague.


Those present: Asger Wiuff Andersen, Hon Treasurer (Denmark); Christian Bauer (Sweden); Gintautas Čepas (Lithuania); Pedro Corell (Spain);  Dan DeBaerdemaecker (Great Britain); John Fletcher, Secretary (Great Britain); Uwe Joerß, 2nd Vice President (Germany); Radim Kotrba, Past President (Czech Republic); Juergen Laban (Austria); Tomas Landete- 1st Vice President (Spain); Christoph Luder (Switzerland);Morten Nystad, President (Norway); Dainis Paeglitis (Latvia); Jaroslav Pokoradi (Slovakia); Annelies Timmerman (Netherlands); Franz Vogelmayer (Austria).


Apologies were received from Paul Audenaerde (Belgium); Katrin Hansson (Sweden) and Patrick van Aubel (France)

Bartek Dmuchowski (Poland) and Katarzyna Susek (Poland) arrived during the meeting.


The President, MN, welcomed delegates to the meeting and thanked RK for all his hard work over the previous two years.


1.       The Minutes of the last Management meeting held in Bedford were presented.

2.       Matters arising. It was suggested by RK that the opened contacts that was being provided within the Spain and the Czech Republic by the private landowner’s organisation might be expanded and that the European Landowners’ Organisation (ELO) might be helpful to us in presenting our various issues to Brussels. Therefore, the way of collaboration should be established (partnership, membership etc.).The progress of deer as species eligible for organic farming under EU Directive 889/2008 should be enforced to amend directive to include red, fallow and sika deer. There are various management issues so that cover must be provided at calving; deer cannot be moved from one field to another until all calves are running with their mothers. There are still issues to be discussed relating to transition into organic deer farming and also in relation to the purchase of deer from non-organic sources. The accepted maximum stocking density is 7 adult red deer or 15 adult fallow deer per hectare.

UJ stated that in Germany it was actually illegal to remove hard antlers from stags he requested a copy of the Directive so that he could show it to the German authorities.


3.       JF raised the issue of tuberculosis in deer. He explained that in his opinion TB (Mycobacterium bovis) was likely to be much more widespread amongst deer within Europe than was often realised. He pointed out that one and probably two French deer herds had recently been slaughtered because of TB although he thought that the owners had been compensated. This raised the question of where deer farmers could purchase deer to replace such herds or if they were starting new deer herds as was happening in Scotland now in response to growing demand for farmed venison and the new CAP regime. Scotland is classed as TB free but purchasing deer from elsewhere could pose risks unless a testing protocol could be set up. As a result JF had through the Veterinary Deer Society organised a conference the previous week with scientists working in TB diagnostics in deer from Spain, Ireland, New Zealand, UK, Sweden, USA.  The conclusion had been that NZ had the greatest experience and Professor Frank Griffin who had come over for the conference was offering to allow his ELISA test to be set up in a laboratory in Edinburgh. Although it was early days in planning this testing protocol and everything would depend on co-operation from the UK Ministry of Agriculture, the intention was to use Frank Griffin’s test in the same way as it had been used in NZ to reduce the numbers of infected herds from 320 to only 2!  Briefly this required the use of a single comparative intradermal skin test using bovine tuberculin. Any animals with any visible reaction to the bovine tuberculin would then be blood sampled using the ELISA test.  JF wished to emphasise that this was still in planning stages but hoped that he would eventually be able to roll the strategy out to other countries within Europe, and wanted delegates to be aware of what was being planned.  The more blood samples that could be processed the more economical the test would become.

There was also brief discussion on transportation of deer in velvet. All agreed to give permission of vet subcommittee of FEDFA (JF, PA) to meet administration in Brussels to discuss it together with TB issue.

4.       National Reports were presented by country representatives from 14 member states. Detailed reports will be included on web page as additional material.


5.   Next autumn meeting will be held in Poland. BD presented proposal to organise meeting in North- East part of Poland (http://rudzie.pl/index.php?lang=en ) in period between end of August and 15th of October. BD will prepare details on meeting venue.

6.   DP explains the event he will organize this year, in its 7th edition: international antler valuation event. It takes place in Saulstari deer farm, Sigulda, Latvia. It consists of valuation of casted or cut antlers of red and fallow deer, plus invited researchers, national authorities, and the last day there is a party event. Last time event visited the minister of agriculture of Latvia, Mrs. Laimdota Straujuma. The winner of all categories was Bomafar from Poland, with 249,50 CIC point antlers, but presents list of all categories. This year it will take place from 6-8th of August coorganized by IDUBA with conference similar to last year European Meeting on Antlers and Deer (EMAD), which will not be organized this year by TL. He invites FEDFA delegates to participate. Details will be publish at www.safariparks.lv.

7.   TL reported about IDUBA. It was proposed its creation during EMAD. After agreement on creation and proposed aims, there was a turn for candidates to president. TL was elected with 90% of the votes. The president names vicepresident, and rest of the team, and DP is vicepresident for EU. Spanish-IDUBA just now legalized, and possibly same outcome with IDUBA-Latvia. The real working aim is to become a platform of international cooperation between all sorts of companies related to deer or other wild ungulate breeding. Now it has members in 4 continents, including USA white-tailed deer breeders, Chinese companies buying deer products, Czech companies producing specialised feeds and components for deer, or New Zealand breeders, or Spanish and Russian companies selling hunting worldwide. It publishes newsletter every two weeks, as it has somebody contracted. Dr. TL suggests doing the same with FEDFA, having somebody contracted to keep daily work and international image of FEDFA. As FEDFA, IDUBA is non-profit and fees (250€/year) go nearly entirely to pay the Director of International Relationships. He distributes an information letter, and invites members of FEDFA to join and distribute it to breeders or companies that may be interested.

8.   AOB

RK mentioned that he was reached by several Russians asking about membership. He recommends them to established national association first and to have proper representation instead of to have affiliated membership (trade or industry single company) with no voting rights.

9.   Panel discussion on ‘Deer Farming in Europe: Current Challenges and Common Agricultural Policy’ has followed after lunch in lecture hall at CULS.

Panellists were FEDFA representatives from European countries, Renata Vondrakova (secretary for international relationship of Association of Private Farming of the Czech Republic, representative in COPA-COGECA). The program started with short overview about deer farming in Europe and FEDFA  and followed by Renata Vondrakova with descriptive and detailed overview of negotiated CAP 2015- 2020. Ardent discussion followed including framing CAP into global and philosophical context.

Official programme has been closed after panel discussion.