Deer farm rules not optional, says natural resources minister
Compliance deadline looming for illegal deer farms
The New Brunswick government is warning deer farm owners that it won't be backing down from new regulations it has imposed on the farms.
Last year, the province legalized the more than a dozen farms where people raise deer, with conditions.
Owners must follow legal requirements that include prohibition on selling deer meat, tagging the animals, and keeping deer within fences that meet standards.
Natural Resources Minister Paul Robichaud says the rules take effect at the end of the month and while the department may not levy fines immediately, the rules will not be watered down.
"They had six months.We could probably — if it's possible, if we're reaching that point, if it's a question of an extension of a week or two — I could see some flexibility on that avenue, but changing the regulations we put in place? I don't see it," he said.
Last year, the government postponed implementing the rules for six months after some deer farmers complained they were too strict. Some farmers said they wouldn't comply.
Robichaud says anyone raising any kind of animal in New Brunswick has to follow regulations and deer farmers won't be any different.
The regulations are aimed at protecting the province's wildlife from the spread of disease.