SPCA advocates that the removal of deer velvet should only be performed for therapeutic reasons and not for commercial purposes.
Removal of sensitive antler tissue causes pain and distress. The process of velvet removal exposes stags to a range of potentially stressful practices, including mustering from pasture, yarding, drafting, restraint and removal of the tissue. Our organisation advocates that deer velvetting should only be performed by a veterinarian or a veterinary student under the direct supervision of a veterinarian. If deer velvetting does take place, it must be carried out with appropriate medical care provided prior to, during and after the procedure and include anaesthesia and analgesia. The restraining method must be one that induces the least stress and injury to the animal during the procedure.
(see Handling for more details)
SPCA supports farming practices that allow animals access to the outdoors provided they are able to maintain comfort through unrestricted access to shade and shelter that protects them from the elements, such as extreme temperatures, solar radiation, and inclement weather including wet muddy conditions, rain, wind, hail, and snow.
All animals kept outdoors must have access to well-drained areas to prevent the animals from being kept on wet muddy ground conditions. Wet muddy ground conditions must be avoided as they have negative impacts to the animal’s welfare. SPCA is concerned with the wellbeing of all animals and believe all animals must have the opportunity to display the full repertoire of natural behaviours.