Blood Testing in Red Deer
The red deer (Cervus elaphus) is a game animal that is hunted and ranched worldwide, and its meat is frequently served in restaurants featuring venison. Blood testing is performed on both living animals and carcasses for several reasons.
Captive-bred red deer venison is a significant and increasing part of the meat industry of Canada. Blood testing in these animals is done to investigate fertility and monitor their response to relocation.
Populations of wild red deer are managed similarly worldwide from Europe and North America (their natural range) to Argentina and New Zealand, where they have been introduced.
Special blood tests have been developed to detect diseases in red deer such as bovine tuberculosis and toxoplasmosis, which are communicable to humans, and viral blue tongue, which is not.
Blood testing of red deer carcasses have shown that the meat of undisturbed animals killed cleanly by rifle shot differs from that of those that were hunted with hounds and run for long distances. Overheating and other physiological changes in muscles can render wild meat more susceptible to spoiling.