Parliamentary White Paper 32 (2016–2017) to the Storting on Reindeer Husbandry policy:

Reindeer Husbandry. Old tradition - unique opportunities

Ecological sustainability and increased production are the basis of the unique opportunities in reindeer husbandry. The Parliamentary White Paper presents strategies and measures the industry can adopt to better exploit its potential in a rational and market-oriented direction. Reindeer revenue should as far as possible be generated by selling in-demand products and services to market. This will secure the basis of the unique industry and cultural heritage carrier which reindeer husbandry is.

This is the main message of the Parliamentary White Paper no. 32 to the Storting, Reindeer Husbandry. Old tradition - unique opportunities, which the Government is presenting today.

From mountain to market

A well-functioning value chain for reindeer meat is essential to attaining reindeer policy goals. The quality of reindeer products has improved. A new classification system for reindeer meat gives reward for animals with a high meat yield. Through the Annual Reindeer Agreement, the Government intends to link various subsidies more directly to the new system.

– Reindeer Husbandry is to be conceived as a modern and competitive industry which supplies meat to a market that demands healthy and safe food, the Minister for Agriculture and Food Jon Georg Dale says. 

Mandatory individual marking

To strengthen the position of reindeer husbandry, the government will initiate a long term program of mandatory individual marking. This marking will supplement traditional earmarking.

– Such marking will give herd owners faster and safer settlement from abattoirs for their reindeer, says Dale. – Individual marking also enables efficient control of the number of reindeer. Livestock numbers are a critical parameter for the operation of any individual reindeer herder, Jon Georg Dale emphasizes.

Publication of the reindeer stock figures

The government wants to repeal the ban on publication of individual reindeer owners' stock figures and to make these available to others in the reindeer trade.

– Owners knowing each other's livestock numbers will afford securities when aiming for a high harvest yield, says Dale. – This may give a more steady supply of high quality reindeer meat, and livestock numbers adequate to available grazing lands, the Minister of Agriculture and Food states.

Internal autonomy

– The internal autonomy which the reindeer industry achieved in the 2007 Reindeer Act must be continued and strengthened, Dale says. – Overall, the amendments that are now being proposed will contribute to ecologically sustainable reindeer husbandry, which safeguard a stable economic framework and provide the basis for a family based trade, the Minister for Agriculture and Food Jon Georg Dale says. 

Authentic experiences

The reindeer herding way of life can offer unique and authentic experiences in tourism, and special services for education and health services. The values that families can generate from reindeer husbandry in addition to meat production, are crucial for the income potential.

– Few industries are as well placed as reindeer husbandry to offer experience programs in tourism and services in health care, education and other activities that are in demand in our communities, according to the Minister for Agriculture and Food Jon Georg Dale.

Consultations

As laid down in the Consultation Agreement, the Sami Parliament and Norwegian Sami Reindeer Herders' Association have been consulted on measures proposed in the Parliamentary White Paper. The consultations have contributed to a thorough review of reindeer husbandry policy.