SPCA opposes the amputation of velvet antler for commercial purposes.
Velvet antler removal involves the amputation of innervated and vascularised growing antlers and the primary benefit is not for the animal. Deer velvet is primarily harvested for commercial use in supplements.
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 the amputation of velvet antler should only be performed for therapeutic purposes by a veterinarian or a veterinary student under the direct supervision of a veterinarian.
If velvet antler removal does take place, it must be carried out with appropriate medical care provided prior to, during and after the procedure and include anaesthesia and long-lasting analgesia. The restraining method must be one that induces the least stress and injury to the animal during the procedure.