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Farmed Cervid Program Frequently Asked Questions

Can I own deer or elk in NC?

Yes. However, to own deer in NC you must first obtain a Farmed Cervid License from the NC Department of Agriculture.

Can I have a pet deer in NC?

No.  Farmed deer can only be kept for commercial, agricultural or educational purposes.

What can I raise farmed deer for?

Farmed deer can be raised for meat or antler production.  They can also be raised for breeding stock and exported to states or territories that allow the hunting of farmed deer.  Finally, many people raise deer for educational purposes as a part of zoo’s or other animal experiences.

If I am approved for a deer farm, where do I get deer?

Deer can be obtained from other deer farmers in the state. Or CWD non-susceptible cervid can be imported if all other requirements are met. You must first obtain a transportation permit and an approved importation permit prior to bringing animals in state. Please call us for the requirements.

Can deer be imported into NC?

Only CWD non-susceptible species can be imported into NC if all requirements are met.

Can a deer farm address be different than owner’s home address?

Yes. The deer farm address does not have to be the same as the owner’s home address. The farm address should be the actual address of the farm.

Can I hunt deer on my deer farm?

No. Hunting of farmed cervids is not allowed in North Carolina. (However, tribal lands are autonomous and not under the authority of North Carolina)

Can I release my deer to hunt in the wild?

No. Farmed cervids are not allowed to be released. Also, farmed cervids are not allowed to be hunted.

What are CWD Susceptible Cervids?

CWD susceptible cervids are any cervid in the Cervidae family that are susceptible to Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD). North Carolina considers these to be whitetail deer, redtail deer, mule deer, sika deer, elk, muntjac deer, reindeer, or any hybrid of these species.

What are CWD Non-Susceptible Species?

Are cervids that are not susceptible to CWD. These include Fallow deer, Piere David deer, and axis deer. There may be other cervid that are non-susceptible but are currently not available in North Carolina.

Can I Capture a Wild Deer for my Deer Farm?

No. Capturing a wild deer is illegal and subject to penalties and criminal fines. If you encounter a wild deer (or a wild fawn), our recommendation is to not disturb them. If you have continual issues with wild deer, please contact the NC Wildlife Resources Commission.

What is the History of the Farmed Cervid Program?

On September 30, 2015, the approval of the Farm Act by the North Carolina legislature transferred the oversight and regulation of production, sale, possession and transportation of farmed cervids in North Carolina from the Wildlife Resources Commission to the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. NCDA&CS had in place, a transition team that reviewed current rules, regulations, and processes for the NCDA&CS’s farmed cervid program; this team worked to integrate existing requirements into the operational capability of our department.

NCDA&CS Veterinary Division, Dr. Michael Martin - State Veterinarian
Mailing Address: 1030 Mail Service Center, Raleigh, NC 27699-1030
Physical Address: 2 West Edenton Street, Raleigh, NC 27601
Phone: (919) 707-3250 Fax: (919) 733-2277

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