In 1998, a survey was conducted by postal questionnaire to gather basic knowledge about the management, health and productivity of captive deer in Switzerland. In addition, lymph nodes were collected from slaughtered deer from 124 of the 262 holdings surveyed, and tested for Mycobacterium bovis and Mycobacterium tuberculosis. The total farmed deer population was 8389 animals kept on 485 holdings; 87 per cent were fallow deer, 8 per cent red deer, 4 per cent sika deer, and there were small numbers of other species. The median herd sizes were 12 for fallow deer and eight for red deer. Few owners had handling facilities or crushes. In none of the lymph nodes examined were lesions typical of bovine tuberculosis observed, and neither M bovis nor M tuberculosis was cultivated from any of the samples.