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.

Under the Tuberculosis in Animals (England) Order 2021, suspicion of TB in live farmed or park deer (or any deer carcase including wild deer), must be notified to the Animal & Plant Health Agency (APHA).

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

Post-mortem images of TB in deer

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

Examples of deer with TB post mortem - TB Hub
A fallow deer infected with TB with retropharyngeal lymph nodes containing cream coloured liquid (image source: APHA)
Lung of a fallow deer with TB. Cream coloured liquid is exuding from the cut long surface (image source: APHA)
Hepatic lymph node of a fallow deer with TB and cream coloured pus exuding from the cut surface (image source: APHA)
Post mortem Deer organs with signs of TB - TB Hub
Mesenteric lymph nodes of a fallow deer containing cream coloured pus (image source: APHA).
Focal lesions throughout the lung of a red deer with TB (image source: APHA)
Green caseous (cheese-like) material in the mesenteric lymph nodes of a red deer with TB (image source: APHA)
Deer - TB Hub