DEER FARMING IN GERMANY

 

Fallow deer farming started in 1972 at the Haus Riswick Research Station of the Landwirtschaftskammer Rheinland. The aim was to develop healthy

animals for ecological use as an alternative to cattle and sheep on grassland.

Today there are nearly 4000 farms in Germany with 176000 deer (nearly 50% does), 95% Fallow deer, with Red and Sika deer. The average size of the

farms are 2.4 hectares. The main regions for Fallow deer farming are Bavaria and Northrhine- Westfalia. Nearly 11500 hectares are devoted to deer
farming.

In order to farm deer in the Federal Republic of Germany one still requires a licence. The criteria laid down by the Federal Ministry are as follows: the
minimum size is one hectare; it is prohibited to include wood in the farm area; normally eight to ten does per hectare and slaughter on the farm is
allowed. Carcases are controlled by meat inspection and stamped. There is mostly home marketing with relatively high prices for fresh meat with
top quality coming from 14-18 month 
old young animals.

 

GERMAN DEER FARMERS ASSOCIATION

The Federal German Association "Bundesbank für landwirtschaftliche Wildhaltung" - BLW- was founded in 1980, with the first regional association
in 1978.

The 11 regional members in the different areas of the Federal Republic of Germany, representing about 1500 members with mostly small farms of
around 2-3 Ha, are independent. Since 1984 the magazine"Landwirtschaftliche Wildhaltung" has been published four times a year, it is now six times
per year. The Federal Association contacts the government, different ministries, the German Farmer's Association "Deutcher Bauernverband" and is a
member of FEDFA. Each province has special advisers for deer farming, and holds conferences and courses on different subjects.

 

RESEARCH

The first pilot farms were started in 1994 in Northrhine. In Haus Riswick, at the Research Station in Grub/Bavaria, and in other university institutes

Different trials are carried out on fencing, feeding, handling, behaviour, marking, twin breeding, domestication, adaptibility of Sika and White-tailed

deer, for farming, lighting for calves, slaughtering,meat and leather quality, veterinary diseases and econiomics. Books and other information about
Fallow deer farming are published by the Bundesbank für Landwirtschaftliche Wildhaltung(BLW), Bonn. A list can be ordered from BLW
(fax: + 49 228 371850)

 

MARKETING

The consumption of venison in the Federal Republic of Germany is about 33000 tonnes annually, 0.6 kg per head.
The home production of venison is about 16000 tonnes (wild boar meat about 10000 tonnes, Red deer venison about 2900 tonnes, Fallow deer venison
about 1000 tonnes) of which about 1800 tonnes are farmed - mostly-Fallow deer meat. The imports are about 17000 tonnes (12000 tonnes red deer
venison and farmed
game meat) mainly from New Zealand, Poland and CSFR. Imports from Eastern Europe are increasing, and at low prices.


 

DEVELOPMENT

For twenty years Fallow deer farming in Germany has been the agricultural system that makes the most ecological use of grassland without subsidies

for a growing market. This top product is very healthy, of excellent taste and quality, without contamination by chemicals and drugs, correctly slaughtered

and cooled. The consumer is able to look for the animals he wants on local grass  farms in his region. An expansion of deer farming is

therefore possible and desirable.

(1998)

Representatives

Mr. Stefan Völl
Deutscher Bauernverband e.V.
Haus der Land- und Ernährungswirtschaft
Claire-Waldoff-Str. 7
10117 Berlin
+49 30 31 904 543
 

 

s.voell@bauernverband.net

Photos

Dr Stefan Völl