DEER FARMING IN SWITZERLAND

 

Christoph Luder

 

Deer farming is of minor importance in Switzerland but with the help of the National Federation of Farmers, the Swiss Association of Deer Farmers has managed to achieve equal treatment with beef, sheep and goats and to receive almost the same subsidies. Ecological farming is considered very important in Switzerland.

In 1997 there were 480 farms and parks of which 130 are agricultural units. The total number of deer was at this time 7500. Since then the number of deer has approximately doubled. In 2013 there were around 305 Farms with 11’100 Animals, not counted are the private small Deerpark’s and Public Zoo’s and Deerparks. There are 220 members in the National Association. We have deer farms all over Switzerland, average size around 3.5 hectares (biggest farm 22 hectares, 90 hinds, 3 stags). Most farms have fallow deer, red deer is in minority.

Most farmers sell directly to consumers. Though New Zealand imports are increasing they are not having much effect on local sales. All the hunted meat from deer is sold directly by the hunters to privates and restaurants. Special products like sausages, dry meat or deerchinoise are made with the local butcher and sold directly. Total consumption of venison in Switzerland is 5500 tonnes per year of which two thirds are imported. Only 3 or 4 per cent are produced by deer farms.

The National Association (SVH) has a good cooperation with the other organisations for small ruminants. All together we publish a common magazine.

Since a few years everybody who wants to farm deer needs to follow a special training to get the obligatory permission. This education is organized by the Swiss Agricultural Advisory Centre and the Swiss Health Service for Small Ruminants. As instructors there are technicians, government officials and experienced deer farmers. This education is accepted by the Swiss Government.

We have an own website where we publish all important informations (www.hirsche.ch).

Meat inspection and the regulation of meat hygiene Slaughter of farmed deer is subject to the law of meat inspection similar to other types of livestock production on Swiss Farms. After a live animal inspection by the veterinarian, validity 3 days, we can shoot the animals in the open field. Dead, bled out Body has to be carried within 30 Min. to the Slaughterhouse, or break up Body (in Presence of a Veterinary) in a cooled Room, that’s the law. Some Farmers transport her Animals to the Slaughterhouse to Slaughtering. Al rooms for slaughtering, cutting and processing deer have the same standards as slaughterhouses for Farmed Animals. So there is a Guarantee that deer meat from Swiss Farms has the high standard of hygiene like all other Meet from Swiss Animal Producers

 

Representatives

MR CHRISTOPH LUDER
 

Schweizerische Vereinigung der Hirschhalter (SVH)

CH-3365 Grasswil (BE)
Switzerland

Tel: + (41)62 968 10 19
E-Mail: info@swissdeerefarm.com 

Photos

Mr Christoph Luder