Fallow and red deer: requirements and conditions to keep

Page last updated: Tuesday, 17 October 2023 - 9:45am

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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 (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 deer occur in WA as a result of escaped captive stock and from deliberate release. Deer damage native plants, crops and plantation trees and 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 management techniques and facilities to sheep and cattle. It is strongly recommended that applicants seek specialist advice before applying for a permit to keep 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 (by inspection) that an applicant is able to provide adequate conditions for the safe and secure keeping of deer.

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) and/or for display purposes at a wildlife park or at an agricultural show may have some differing conditions.


Contact information

Pest and Disease Information Service (PaDIS)
+61 (0)8 9368 3080