People have been breeding Vietnamese sika deer since the 1920s. This happens on farms. Some believe that this deer's antlers contain medicinal substances and that powder made from ground antlers could cure illness and increase virility. The velvet - the skin that covers the growing antlers - is also used in medicines.
Due to a change in their natural habitat and mass hunting of these deer, in the sixties they disappeared from the wild. Now they only live in nature reserves and in captivity. In Europe, in1989 a breeding programme (EEP) began for these Vietnamese sika deer. With help from the Vietnamese government, in 1991 some of the animals were taken out of nature reserves and put into European wildlife parks. These parks paid a one-off fee to the Vietnamese government to create natural habitats.