DEER FARMING IN SWEDEN

 

Karl Vilhelm Beckman 2000

 

 

 

History and Background

  For several centuries deer have been kept within fences in special parks for decorative and hunting purposes - in Sweden as elsewhere in Europe. Fallow deer were imported to Sweden, probably from England, around 1580 by King Johan III and quickly became the dominant species, but Red deer of Swedish extraction were also important inhabitants of the parks. In fact Swedish Red deer no doubt were saved from extinction by those few gentry who kept them safeguarded in parks surrounding their manors.

 

 

Deer farm organisation

  Since 1971 the Swedish  Deer Farmers Association (SHA) has been promoting deer farming in Sweden. The original association only had 20 members and today we count close to 10 times as many. Progress in deer farming has been done in several areas and today we can look on ourselves as one of the countries in Europe having regulations which are agreed as reasonable among most farmers.

 

 

SHA have made it possible to join a volunteer TB eradication programme which will give Sweden a TB free status by the year of 2005 (?). As a result of the TB eradication programme the number of active deer farmers has decreased and they now number less than 400.

From the year 2000 the Swedish farmers union (LRF) are also supporting the Swedish Deer Farmers Association who are looked upon as one of the possible niche producers making it possible to stay on the farm and have a profitable income from it.

 

 

Market

 

Demand and consumption of deer meat are steadily increasing. Prices of farmed deer meat are firm though New Zealand imports are taking most of the market share. As a result and to meet future marketing problems a group of farmers are taking the first difficult steps and have started a profit co-operative. The main challenge in the future will be to organise all the Swedish Deer farmers into marketing companies or groups to get a structured approach to the growing demand of consumers.

 

Update 2011 (Rolf Eriksson)

There are now about  270 farms with deer and the total number of deer is about 30.000.  

The TB-testing program is now practically over.
The price for venison has increased a bit in the last years.

Representatives

Katrin Hansson

 

 

 

 

 

 

Andreas Svensson

Photos

Katrin Hansson
Andreas Svensson