N.B. lifts deer farming ban pending review

Pending a review of the practice of deer farming, New Brunswick has lifted its deadline for anyone keeping captive white-tailed deer to either slaughter or ship out the animals.

The province in January gave residents at over a dozen locations an order, and June 15 deadline, to dispose of white-tailed deer they were alleged to be keeping. The order cited risks to public safety, human health and native wildlife.

However, the province announced Tuesday it will now run a review of "any risks and benefits associated with the farming of white-tailed deer."

Pending the review’s outcome, the June 15 deadline for removal of captive deer has been suspended, the province said.

"The provincial government has listened to all sides, and it has decided we need to better understand all the facts associated with the raising of white-tailed deer in captivity,” provincial Natural Resources Minister Bruce Northrup said Tuesday in a release.

Departmental staff, he said, will now review "the regulatory processes in place in other jurisdictions that allow white-tailed deer to be raised in captivity.”

The province’s current Fish and Wildlife Act bans the keeping of white-tailed deer in captivity, even if they were bred or raised that way.

Northrup said in January that his department had identified 15 locations where a total of over 140 white-tailed deer were living in captivity.

Once the review is done, he said Tuesday, the province expects to have "the necessary facts to determine whether the farming of white-tailed deer is an activity that can be safely carried out in the province."

The province’s January order followed the October 2011 death of a 55-year-old man at St-Leonard, about 40 km southeast of Edmundston, Northrup said.

The man had gone into a fenced field near his home to tend to a herd of deer, and it’s believed he was attacked there by a dominant male deer, RCMP said at the time.

Related story:
N.B. orders alleged deer farms shut down, Jan. 25, 2012

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