Farmed deer

Farmed deer are any deer that are kept for business purposes. Legislation requires farmed deer to be identified if they are to be tested for TB or leave the farm of origin. The identification tag must show both the Defra or the British Deer Farms and Parks Association (BDFPA) herd registration number and the animal’s own unique number.

> Click here for British Deer Farms and Parks Association

Under the Tuberculosis (Deer and Camelid) (England) Order 2014, suspicion of TB in live farmed or park deer (or any deer carcass including wild deer), must be notified to the local APHA Office.

In England, compensation for deer which are compulsorily slaughtered as TB reactors or a TB affected animal is:

  • £1500 for a working stag
  • £400 for hind and young stock

The Secretary of State has powers to enforce TB testing of any deer for disease control purposes at the keeper’s own expense.

Lymph nodes may contain liquid pus – retropharyngeal, thoracic, hepatic and mesenteric most frequently affected. Lung lesions are caseous (cheese like) and white or cream in colour.

Click here for the Tuberculosis (Non-bovine animals) Slaughter and Compensation (England) Order 2017

> Click here for Defra guidance on managing TB in farmed deer, including movement restrictions and compensation

Post-mortem images of farmed deer (images include graphic content):


A fallow deer infected with M.bovis with retropharyngeal lymph nodes containing cream coloured liquid (image source: APHA).


Lung of a fallow deer with tuberculosis. Cream coloured liquid is exuding from the cut long surface (image source: APHA).


This shows the hepatic lymph node of a fallow deer with tuberculosis and cream coloured purulent material is exuding from the cut surface (image source: APHA).


Mesenteric lymph nodes of a fallow deer containing cream-coloured purulent material (image source: APHA).


Focal lesions throughout the lung of a red deer with tuberculosis (image source: APHA).


Green caseous material in the mesenteric lymph nodes of a red deer with tuberculosis (image source: APHA).