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The Deer Farmer Tuesday 14th October, 2008
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Impacti On Neighbouring Areas

06-12-2007 | webmaster

The impacts of the Burnside closure may be felt more in neighbouring areas than Otago itself. Otago is generally more of a deer breeding area than a finishing area, and many deer that have been supplied to Burnside come from further afield. The Burnside closure will have more impact on neighbouring South Canterbury, for example, from where local transporter Kris Orange of Downlands Deer estimates his company moved 20,000 animals to Burnside during a three-month period of the chilled season last year.
The co-op has indicated that it will seek to increase numbers going through all four other plants, so suppliers could now see their deer being transported further. However the co-op's policy on freight charges is for suppliers to pay the cost to the nearest venison plant - which would typically be Mountain River at Rakaia or Otago Venison at Mosgiel. The co-op's shareholders pay the differential, which might now be a trip to Kennington or even Mossburn - which would require an overnight stay for drivers.
Meanwhile, local PGG Wrightson deer agent Brenden Johnston says Otago deer numbers are generally "holding", though there's been some impact from properties changing to dairy support and the drought. "There's been no growth since spring. Farmers tell me they've got 75 to 90 bales out of a paddock where they would normally get 400. We are getting a reasonable autumn, but they're keeping their stocking low." In the long run, fellow PGG Wrightson deer agent Ron Schroeder predicts, there may be more deer run on the Otago hills, which are well suited to breeding.

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