Velvet is harvested in a painless, humane, and ethical way while the Red Deer stag or the Elk bull is under anesthesia mostly under either the supervision of a veterinarian or of a breeder trained by a veterinarian. The antlers are cut about 55-60 days after shedding the previous set or buttons between the 4th and 5th point. The antlers, or the remaining buttons, shed naturally every year in February or March depending on the age of the animal. The younger the animal, the longer he will keep his antlers or buttons. Velvet is the fastest growing tissue known on this planet. For more than 2,000 years it has been used in the Orient for promoting well being and for curing calcium related diseases like osteoporosis and arthritis. Other effects from velvet antlers that have been proven to be true also by modern Western research are:
According to another article By Dr. Fennessy, Red Deer velvet antlers have been tested for anti-tumor effects. Especially interesting results have been found during an experiment with P388 (Murine Leukemia) cells. Lower grade velvet antlers indicated to have "a potent anti-tumor activity in organic extracts from New Zealand red velvet antler and this is influenced by section of the antler, grade, and processing technique." (The New Zealand Velvet Antler Industry: Background and Research Findings, International Symposium on Cervi Parvum Cornu, Seoul, Korea; Dr. Fennessy et all, and NZ Game Industry Board, Wellington, NZ;100.) Dr. Fennessy works for AgResearch, Invermay Agricultural Centre which is the leading research center worldwide for deer and deer products.
After harvest, velvet is frozen and sent to the processing plant. Here it is dried and reduced either to powder or to slices. Oriental velvet consumers who live in the United Stated prefer to buy it in slices and put it in their tea. Most of the others, however, enjoy velvet benefits in capsules.
According to The Tracker, a Bison and Elk publication (June 1998 issue, p.17), the University of Alberta School of Nursing presented a proposal to culminate with a large scale clinical trial over three years to research the effects of velvet antlers on pain and inflammation on arthritis sufferers. This project is supported by the Alberta Elk Association and support is also expected by the Alberta Department of Agriculture and Rural Development and by the National Institute of Health. The Tracker explains that if this project proves once more what many victims of arthritis already experienced -- that velvet antlers reduce pain and swelling in many patients if taken in appropriate dosage -- then thousand patients all over North America will be exposed and helped by the velvet benefits.
Velvet capsules have been proven to be beneficial in animals, too. Many pet clinics are trying velvet with great results on their pet patients that suffer from injuries and/or arthritis.
Velvet Antler benefits are going to be sustained for the first time in the USA by scientific evidence in compliance with US Food and Drug Administration by Nutrinfo Corp. In Mass. and the First International Symposium of Antler Science and Product technology (ASPT) will be held in Banff, Alberta April 9-12, 2000. This symposium is held, among other reasons, because:
1. Elk and Red Deer farming have rapidly emerge economically; world antler production has increased about 30% per year for the last 10 years, with a strong demand in North America, Europe, and Asia.
2. Modern Western scientists want to get together to study how velvet has been used successfully for the cure of wounds, pain, osteoarthritis, inflammation, stress, osteoporosis, and in slowing the aging process and to share their findings on this rapidly developing new discipline: Antler Science.
3. The objective of this Symposium is to invite leading antler researches from around the world and to provide a forum among the scientific and business communities to exchange ideas and to create a synergy among all participating sectors, from processors to researchers, from marketers to consumers. Last, but not least, the goal of the Symposium is to give a solid scientific foundation on antler industry and to create a key reference book by the proceedings of the Symposium. For more information Call the University of Alberta (780) 492-767 or www.afns.ualberta.ca/asptsymp.