Deer antler velvet can be defined as 'deer antlers during their phase of rapid growth', and it gets the name ‘velvet’ because of its velvet-like covering of hair. Velvet antler is considered by the Eastern medicine to be one of the most powerful animal-based remedies in their Traditional Eastern Pharmacopoeia. The male deer of most species develop a pair of antlers every year from bony outgrowths called pedicles at the top of the skull.
The annual growth cycle of antlers starts in spring with the rapid development of a soft cartilaginous core from each of the two pedicles. This core is covered with a layer of connective tissue, then skin with a dense covering of fine hair, and the whole antler is well supplied with blood vessels and nerves. Velvet antler is very sensitive during this growth phase, and the male deer are protective of it and non-aggressive. Velvet antlers grow very rapidly, at a rate of up to 2 cm a day. As growth occurs, cartilage is gradually replaced by bone by a process of calcification. When growth is complete, the antler ‘hardens’ or calcifies completely, the blood vessels at the junction between the pedicle and the antler close off, and the skin, nerves and connective tissue dry, shrivel and flake off. The bony cores remain as hard antler ready for the ‘rutting’ season in autumn, when the stags are aggressive and combative as they compete for hinds. At the end of the rutting season, in early spring, the pedicle-antler junction weakens and the antlers are cast naturally.
In New Zealand, Deer Antler Velvet can only be removed by veterinarians or specially trained and certificated farmers under a program developed in consultation with animal welfare groups approved by the New Zealand Government's Animal Welfare Advisory Committee. This ensures that all Deer Antler Velvet removed in New Zealand for use in products complies with a removal process which causes no stress or injury to the animals.
Only Quality Assured farms acting under strict veterinary supervision, and in line with current New Zealand legislation, supply Deer Antler Velvet for Nutronics Labs products. This ensures that humane animal welfare standards are adhered to and a premium product is supplied for the Nutronics Labs product line. Nutronics Labs Deer Antler Velvet is 100% pure New Zealand red deer velvet and is manufactured under Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP), and New Zealand Ministry of Agriculture certification.