NSW government considers all options as farmers battle increasing population of deer in Central West

EXPLODING: NSW Agriculture Minister Adam Marshall says there are "a number of options on the table to manage the state's increasing deer population". Photo: FILE
EXPLODING: NSW Agriculture Minister Adam Marshall says there are "a number of options on the table to manage the state's increasing deer population". Photo: FILE

The NSW government is considering giving all gun licence holders in the state the right to cull wild deer populations on private property in a bid to reduce herd numbers.

Under current rules, a game hunting licence is needed to shoot deer - with some exceptions. NSW Agriculture Minister Adam Marshall says there are "a number of options on the table to manage the state's increasing deer population, including removing the game status of deer".

The Mount Canobolas State Conservation Area has a known red deer population but culling those herds while in the conservation area remains prohibited.

"The deer population has exploded ... and the current policy settings limit the ability of landholders and farmers to effectively manage the species," he said in a statement on Tuesday," Marshall said.

"Deer pose a particular problem during drought, and this government will do what it can to assist farmers through these incredibly tough times."

Invasive Species Council chief executive Andrew Cox says deer are now in "plague numbers" throughout most of NSW.

"It's time to bring the control of feral deer into line with other damaging feral animals," Cox said.

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