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16 April 2002
It was time to look hard at the wisdom of continuing to export feral deer meat,
Agriculture Minister Jim Sutton said today.
Mr Sutton said he felt that recent charges of deer poachers raised serious questions
about New Zealand's ability to provide sufficient assurances about the origin of such
"New Zealand has an excellent reputation for safe, quality food. The involvement
of people who resort to dishonest tactics in the supply of feral meat introduces a risk
that is very hard to manage. We absolutely have to know the true origin of the
Mr Sutton said the amount of wild deer processed was small, compared with the amount of
farmed deer meat produced.
Only a small amount of feral deer meat is produced a year, compared with a much larger
amount of farmed deer. In the year to June last year, New Zealand exported 15,693 tonnes
of venison, and it has been estimated that about 1000 tonnes was from feral animals. The
domestic market also consumes a significant quantity.
"I don't like the idea of a few bandits putting a significant industry at
Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry officials are to report to Mr Sutton as soon as
possible on the issues surrounding a possible ban on feral deer meat exports.
For more information:
CATHIE BELL on 04 4719855 or 025 998467 email Catherine.Bell@ministers.govt.nz Office of Hon Jim Sutton