Deer slaughter levy

​​​​IMPORTANT—you can lodge your deer slaughter return online.

The deer slaughter levy was first introduced 1 July 1992. Deer that are slaughtered at an abattoir for human consumption will attract the deer slaughter levy. The Rural Industries Research and Development Corporation, now trading as AgriFutures Australia, and the National Residue Survey (NRS) are responsible for the expenditure of the deer slaughter levy.

Deer slaughter levy rates

The deer slaughter levy comprises NRS testing and research and development (R&D), as shown in the table below:

Deer slaughter levy component Levy rate
NRS 6 cents per kilogram
R&D 2 cents per kilogram
TOTAL 8 cents per kilogram

The deer slaughter levy is calculated per kilogram of the hot dressed carcase weight. GST is not applied to Australian Government levies.

The hot dressed carcase weight means the weight of the dressed carcase of a slaughtered deer that is determined by weighing the carcase within 2 hours after its slaughter.

Example: For a hot dressed carcass weight of 60 kilogram, the amount of levy payable on that weight is $4.80.

The hot carcase weight, the weight of a carcase weighed within two (2) hours after slaughter, is taken to be 60 kilograms if an abattoir, is:

  • Able to determine a hot carcase weight but fails to do so
  • Unable to determine a hot carcase weight and is able to determine a cold carcase weight but fails to do so within the weighing period or
  • Unable to determine a hot carcase weight or a cold carcase weight within the weighing period.

The cold dressed carcase weight is defined as the weight of the dressed carcase of a slaughtered deer that is determined by weighing the carcase 2 hours or more after its slaughter.

The dressed carcase of a slaughtered deer means the body of the deer after:

  1. Bleeding, skinning and the removal of the internal digestive, respiratory, excretory, reproductive and circulatory organs
  2. Minimum trimming (as required by the appropriate inspecting authority under any law of the Commonwealth, or of a State or Territory) for the carcase to be passed as being fit for human consumption
  3. Removal of the head (severed between the occipital bone and the first cervical vertebra)
    1. Feet (severed between the knee joint (carpus and metacarpus) and the hock joint (tarsus and metatarsus))
    2. So much of the tail as is longer than 5 coccygeal vertebrae
    3. Thick skirt (by separating the connective tissue as close to the bodies of the lumbar vertebrae as possible)
    4. Kidney, the kidney knob and the pelvic channel fat, and
    5. In the case of a doe—the udder, or the udder and the cod fat, and
    6. In the case of a stag—the penis and testes.

The rate of levy imposed by this Schedule on deer slaughtered at an abattoir where the cold dressed carcase weight of the slaughtered deer is determined is the levy rate per kilogram of that weight of each slaughtered deer, multiplied by 1.03.

Do I need to lodge a return and make a payment?

A producer, the person who owns the deer at the time of slaughter, is liable to pay the levy.

If you are a processor who processes deer you must lodge a return and make a payment to the department.

A processor is defined as the proprietor of the processing establishment that processes the product, unless, immediately prior to delivery to that establishment, the product is owned by the proprietor of another processing establishment, in which case the proprietor of that other establishment is regarded as the processor.

Exemptions from paying the deer slaughter levy

A producer is not liable to pay the deer slaughter levy where the carcases are condemned or rejected as being unfit for human consumption.

How do I lodge a deer slaughter return?

You must register with the department to receive a unique LRS number before you can lodge your first return.

To lodge your return online, access Levies Online . Alternatively, you can complete a manual deer slaughter return form.

Return and payment dates

IMPORTANT: If you pay your levy late you will incur a penalty that is calculated at a compounding rate of two (2) per cent of the unpaid amount each month, including any penalties you have already accrued, until you have paid the outstanding amount in full.

The deer slaughter levy is based on a financial year.

Monthly returns and payments

Monthly returns and payments must be submitted to the department within 28 days after the end of that month.

Example: for the month of July, the return and payment is due to the department on or before 28 August.

What must be included in my return?

As a processor who processed deer in a month, your return for a month must state, in respect of the month:

  1. Your personal details, including:
    1. Full name
    2. Business or residential address, not the address of a post office box or post office bag
    3. Post office box or post office bag, and
    4. Australian Business Number (ABN), or if you are a company the Australian Company Number (ACN)
  2. Period to which the return relates
  3. Number of deer slaughtered at the abattoir in the month
  4. Carcase weight of the deer and the basis upon which the carcase weight is determined
  5. Amount of levy payable, and
  6. Amount of levy paid.

What records do I need to keep?

As a processor who processed deer in a month, you must keep records for five (5) years, setting out for that month, the:

  1. Number and carcase weight of deer slaughtered
  2. Amount of levy payable
  3. Amount of levy paid
  4. Details for each person on whose behalf deer were slaughtered, the persons:
    1. Full name, business or residential address (not the address of a post office box or post office bag), and ABN, if any, or if the person is a company and does not have an ABN—its ACN.

Primary Industries Legislation

The deer slaughter levy is provided for under the:

National Residue Survey (Excise) Levies Act 1998

Primary Industries (Excise) Levies Act 1999, and

Primary Industries Levies and Charges Collection Act 1991.

This information is a guide only. If you are required to lodge a return and make a payment to the department, it is your responsibility to remain aware of your obligations under legislation.

Contact us

If you have any questions about levies and charges, your levies account or how to lodge your return, please contact the Levies Helpdesk via email: or call us on 1800 020 619

Last reviewed: 22 January 2021
Thanks for your feedback.
Thanks! Your feedback has been submitted.

We aren't able to respond to your individual comments or questions.
To contact us directly phone us or submit an online inquiry

Please verify that you are not a robot.