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Stackyard News May 06

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    More Deer Farmers Needed To Meet Consumer Demand For Venison

South Yorkshire to host open day event.


The growing appetite of British shoppers for venison has turned deer farming into a profitable opportunity for livestock farmers, says the Country Land & Business Association (CLA).

The CLA is organising an open day in Yorkshire at Round Green Farm, Worsborough, near Barnsley, on June 13 in conjunction with Venico, the UK's foremost venison sales and marketing group, run by six farmers. They include host South Yorkshire farmer Richard Elmhirst, who says that healthier eating trends have helped boost demand to unprecedented levels that have to be met by imports. "We are looking for more British farmers to seize this opportunity," he says." Some farmers mistakenly believe that deer management is difficult compared to traditional livestock enterprises, but in fact deer are easy to manage when handled properly."

The event covers production, marketing, processing and retailing. A farm tour will include a representative of Defra showing how deer farming can fit in with both entry level and higher level stewardship schemes. Also involved will be one of the UK's leading supermarkets and the British Deer Farmers Association.

"Farming deer is likely to interest those farmers who have either opted out of dairying - where they already have the buildings plus the livestock experience - or those who have grassland available and may prefer something less labour-intensive than cattle or sheep," said Venico's Tim Bastable.

"Deer farming is now a multi-million pound sector in the UK and we predict that it will continue to grow. More shoppers are realising that venison is a red meat with even lower fat levels than chicken breast and is an excellent source of iron."

link Defra Wild boar consultation analysis of responses published
link Independent review of livestock movement rules announced
link Deerstalker Sets His Sights On Growth With Help From Defra

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