South Scotland

Borgue red deer farmer sends antlers to Hong Kong

Red deer antlers Image copyright NFU Scotland
Image caption Rupert Shaw, right, took a year to secure the necessary export licence

A shipment of red deer antlers has started a 35-day journey from a south of Scotland farm to the Far East.

It left Rupert Shaw's Gledpark Farm in Borgue on Friday for Grangemouth before travelling by sea to Hong Kong.

Producers of Chinese medicine have valued Scottish red deer antlers at up to £16 per kilogram.

Future shipments are planned in what Mr Shaw said could prove to be a "very valuable market" for farmers already producing venison.

Having identified a potential buyer for the antlers through his website, a year-long process saw the Dumfries and Galloway farmer go on to secure the necessary export licence for the load and the complete the deal.

'Secure a foothold'

Most of the red deer antlers in the shipment came from Gledpark's herd of farmed red deer with several other Scottish venison producers contributing antlers to fill the container.

Antlers, exclusively found on stags, are cast annually and can be collected.

Mr Shaw, who is also NFU Scotland's regional chairman in Dumfries and Galloway, said: "Although it is early days, the potential demand for Scottish deer antlers in Chinese medicinal products could represent a very valuable market for those who are already producing venison, or are planning to keep deer in the future.

"At current prices of up to £16 per kilogram of antler, and many adult stags casting a set of antlers that could weigh more than 15 kilograms, there is a valuable return to be gained if we can secure a foothold in this market."

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