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Speaking at the Deer Industry New Zealand conference in Methven last week, Professor Fuhe Yang said while some farmers in China were frightened of New Zealand product and were trying to restrict it, he favoured co-operation between the countries as the way forward.
The best scenario would be to establish a joint research centre to provide scientific and technological support which could find the real value of velvet in medicine.
Professor Yang, the chairman of the Chinese Deer Farmers' Association, warned that New Zealand velvet could not be considered equal to Chinese velvet in traditional Chinese medicine and would need to be scientifically tested to gain acceptance.
''As modern people we must be based on science,'' he said.
Possible areas of co-operation between the two countries could be to explore and determine the bioactive substances from velvet, testing its efficacy and establishing new processing methods.
If the demand for velvet and deer products for use in the medical field grew, China and New Zealand would have to work together to meet the demand, Professor Yang said.
The knowledge of velvet in Asia was based on its use in traditional Chinese medicine, with velvet being the number one animal product used.
Velvet could enhance body activities, enrich the blood and speed up wound healing.
It had very special biological features and because of this the ancestors thought it must be unique to human health, Professor Yang said.
Every body part of the deer was a treasure.
The advantages of deer farming in New Zealand included the beautiful ecology and ample feed, the main product was venison complemented by velvet, which was a sensible model, and it was a reliable and stable market.
Professor Yang praised the co-operation between Deer Industry New Zealand and the Deer Farmers' Association which provided a complete management system.
- by Maureen Bishop