Fallow and red deer: keeping requirements

Page last updated: Wednesday, 6 February 2019 - 10:18am

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This article provides information on the requirements for keeping fallow and red deer species in Western Australia.


Fallow (Dama dama) and red deer, wapiti or elk (Cervus elaphus) are declared pests under the Biosecurity and Agriculture Management Act 2007 (BAM Act) in Western Australia (WA).

The Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development (DPIRD) assists in preventing the establishment of deer in the wild. This means a permit is required to keep fallow and red deer in WA. Animals that escape or become feral must be recaptured or destroyed.

All other deer species are prohibited from keeping under the BAM Act.

Small populations of feral red and fallow deer currently occur in WA as a result of escaped captive stock and from deliberate release. Deer can damage native plants, crops and plantation trees. In the wild, deer may also have a role in the transmission of exotic livestock diseases.

Requirements for the keeping of deer have been framed to safeguard agriculture, the natural environment and the public while minimising restrictions on the deer industry. Deer need different stock managment techniques and facilities to sheep and cattle, so it is strongly recommended that applicants seek specialist advice before deciding to apply for deer and before building any facilities.

Individuals wishing to keep deer at a particular place must apply for a permit before they obtain the animals. However, a permit will only be issued when DPIRD is satisfied (usually by inspection) that an applicant is able to provide adequate conditions for the safe and secure keeping of the animals.

Applicants should also be aware of requirements of other relevant acts and codes of practice associated with animal welfare requirements.

Permits covering the keeping of deer for commercial production (for venison, velvet and skins), as pets and/or for display purposes (usually at a wildlife park or at an agricultural show) may have slightly differing conditions.


Contact information

Pest and Disease Information Service (PaDIS)
+61 (0)8 9368 3080
Brett Scourse
+61 (0)8 9690 2155