Questions on Notice No 5927
59 Parliament First Session
Asked: 6 May 2021

Question on Notice

Ms McLeish to ask the Minister for Agriculture — With reference to deer culls undertaken on Melbourne’s fringe and culls in the high country undertaken by helicopter:

(1) Are deer classified as game or pests.

(2) If deer are classified as pests, why do legitimate hunters need a game licence.

Answered: 18 June 2021
QoN - LA - Response_0_0.docx


Deer are classified as protected wildlife and as game under the Wildlife Act 1975. Deer, excluding Hog Deer, are unprotected on private land and can be controlled by the landowner, their managers, permanent employees or agents without a game licence or a permit. Landowners can use methods that are not permitted for recreational hunting (e.g. spotlighting at night), where they are causing damage. There is no bag limit for deer. There is also no closed season for deer, except for Hog Deer and Sambar Deer hunting with hounds.


A game licence is required to hunt deer on public land. There are over 40,000 licensed deer hunters in Victoria. Game licences enable the Game Management Authority to enforce the hunting laws, track trends in hunting demand, identify the needs of hunters and communicate important information to licensed hunters.


An authorisation under the Wildlife Act 1975 is currently required by land managers to control deer on public land. An action articulated in the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning’s Victorian Deer Control Strategy will remove this requirement.


The Hon. Mary-Anne Thomas MP 

Minister for Agriculture