I visited a deer farm near Cardiff on Wednesday. I can't reveal the address because of deer poaching problems in South Wales. Even the shop that I stopped in to ask for directions warned me of visiting the farm. The shopkeeper immediately said "you can't go there" to which I had to reassure him that I had an appointment.
Deer Poaching has become a major problem in South Wales. The police and other organizations such has the forestry commission have joined forces to create Operation Antler. It's a scheme that encourages people to report deer poaching or if they suspect someone is obtaining venison on the black market. Operation Antler also reassures the rural community that something is being done about this poaching problem.
The farm I visited has been the victim of deer poaching. I was described a horrific scene by the farmer. One day they had been walking amongst the grounds only to find a dead stag that had it's head sawn off. Its body just left like an empty crisp packet lying on the floor. Sickening.
Deer stalkers are trained to shoot deer in the most humane way. One bullet to the head, instant death. The farm we visited said that their marksman had been there for five years and had never had to use more than one bullet to kill a deer, an excellent record. Deer stalking is a highly technical skill that must be perfected.
When deers are poached they are usually not killed in the right way causing immense distress and pain to the animal. If you think you've seen any deer poaching please call crime stoppers on 0800 555 111.
The deer farm I visited has been a deer farm since 1640 and has 80 acres of land that the deer happily roam around. The venison produced is organic and is sold personally by the people that rear the animals. When asked what was the best way to cook venison, I got a truthful yet slightly odd reply!
"the best way to cook venison is to undercook it"
They you have it! There are lots of quality assured venison farms out there, so please make sure you use a reputable supplier when you buy venison.