Transporting deer

Transporting deer

The transportation of deer is a vital link in the overall “pasture to plate” concept. Assurances covering transport have to be given and met in order to satisfy the requirements of importing countries. In recent times the transport requirements from many of our importing countries have become increasingly complex and are highly likely to impact on the way we go about transporting deer in the future.

DeerQA Transport Quality Assurance Programme

To become accredited to the DeerQA Transport Quality Assurance Programme, transport operators must meet three basic requirements:

  1. Have all deer crates certified to the DeerQA Transport Standards.
  2. Have all deer truck drivers attend and be approved through the industry training course.
  3. Have a documented procedure manual describing how their business operates  insofar as deer transport is concerned for audit purposes.

Your accredited transporter’s obligations
Now that all venison processors/exporters require all deer to be delivered to their plants by accredited deer transporters it’s an opportune time to reflect on what deer farmers should expect when sending a consignment of deer from
their property.

When booking transport, either direct or through a stock agent, always ask if the operator is an accredited deer transporter. If the answer is yes, then when the truck arrives at your farm you should expect:

  • To verify that the deer crate is certified by viewing the  crate ID plate attached to the lower front driver’s side of the crate.
  • The driver to have an ID card verifying he has attended and passed the industry training course. Ask the driver for this ID card as proof.
  • The deer crate to be clean and washed out, particularly if other animal species have been carried prior to picking up your deer.
  • The driver to have a good knowledge of the industry standards and the legal requirements of deer transport.
  • The driver to be competent and able to handle most deer in most situations.
  • The driver to be competent and able to recognise the difference between stress and aggression in deer and know what to do to alleviate these situations.
  • The driver to be aware of safety aspects (for himself and the animals) when handling your deer.

Most deer farmers will have their own preferred transporters and/or drivers. In most cases this has been the result of a good partnership or relationship built up over the years. If you are not satisfied with the level of competence or service supplied by the transport operator or driver then explain what you expect from them. If you don’t have any satisfaction in this regard then ring (John Tacon , DINZ, 04 471 6117) and he will talk with them on your behalf.
 

Your obligations

To balance the situation let’s look at the transport operator/driver requirements when they arrive at your farm to pick up your deer.

  • Access to your loading ramp in any weather conditions, under their own power.
  • The deer in the yards or holding pens and stood for a minimum of 2 hours to allow them to settle and begin to empty out. Deer will travel much better if they’ve had this settling period.
  • For the safety and welfare of both the deer and the driver, someone will be there to help load the deer.
  • All deer are fit and healthy for transport. This means they can stand and bear weight on all four entire limbs and be in such a fit and robust condition so as to withstand the journey without suffering undue pain or distress.eer are drafted for size, sex and age groups either before or at the time of loading.
  • If the driver indicates any deer as being unfit for transport he means it. He should not be subjected to coercion.
  • Any unfit deer can only be transported if a vet certificate is supplied and all conditions on the certificate can be met.

Deer transport:
Look after your deer and they’ll look after you.
The transportation of deer is a vital link in the overall “pasture to plate” concept. Assurances covering transport have to be given and met in order to satisfy the requirements of importing countries. In recent times the transport requirements
from many of our importing countries have become increasingly complex and are highly likely to impact on the way we go about transporting deer in the future.

To download a copy of the Transport operating standards click here >>

Information on transport of deer in New Zealand is available in a convenient DINZ Deer Fact sheet (September 2015). Print off your own copy here >>