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Rusa deer farming in La Réunion Island

Grimaud P., Rérolle X., Le Bel S., Thomas P.. 2001. In : ed. by Hym Ebedes, Brian Reilly, Wouter Van Hoven, Banie Penzhorn. Sustainable utilisation : conservation in practice. Proceedings of the 5th International Wildlife Ranching Symposium 2001, Pretoria, South Africa, 12-24 March 2001. s.l. : s.n., p. 94-97. International Wildlife Ranching Symposium. 5, 2001-03-12/2001-03-24, Pretoria (Afrique du Sud).

The rusa deer, Cervus timorensis russa, has become fully acclimatised to the subtropical conditions in La Réunion Island. There are fourteen farms with a breeding stock of 2,100 hinds. Deer were introduced onto the island during the seventeenth century from Indonesia by European sailors who required fresh meat on their voyages to India. The first farms were started in the 1980's, in marginal areas that were unsuitable for other agricultural activities. The deer are mainly farmed extensively and productivity is good. Research institutions provide technical assistance to the venison producers, who are organised into two deer farming associations. The support provides information on marketing, pasture management, and veterinary assistance. On some farms, there is an individual animal follow-up to provide information on deer productivity. The island has a multi-ethnic population and venison is consumed by all the religious groups. Approximately 150 tons of venison are needed annually. The local production is about 30 tons and 50 tons is imported from Europe and New Zealand. An increase in productivity and number of deer farms could lead to increased venison production.
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