Rabbit Advocacy Animal Matters
Shot for a Tulip
Tribe of Heart:
Our local battle to stop the
slaughter of suburban deer
Some background from cayugadeer.org DRAC releases its proposal: sterilize 60 deer, kill all the rest
On June 8th, the Deer Remediation Advisory Committee (DRAC) released its long-awaited recommendation to the Cayuga Heights trustees. The essence of this four-page document can be boiled down to something like this:
We think there are just too many deer in the village. So we’re going to spend $100,000 or more of taxpayers’ money to first capture 60 of them and render them sterile, then bring in out-of-town contractors to kill every other deer we can find, including pregnant does and fawns, year after year.
According to DRAC's plan, every single deer in Cayuga Heights is slated to either be killed or violated. The "lucky" individuals who will be spared a violent death will be captured, sterilized and released, their ears punctured by tags and and their necks burdened with radio collars. They will then have the annual experience of watching the other deer they have come to know be shot down in front of them. The children growing up in Cayuga Heights will soon realize that any deer without an ear tag is doomed to be killed, and that this is how we “handle” our conflicts with wildlife, rather than being open to adjusting our own behaviors and habits to enable us all to live in harmony together.
Specifically, DRAC’s “Report and Proposal”:
1. Fails to define the problem it claims to address, reducing a complex environmental and ethical issue to a “need to reduce the number of deer.”
2. Fails to present data to support its claims.
3. Fails to offer the public any sort of reasoned justification for annually bringing in out-of-town sharpshooters and/or bow-hunters to 10-12 undisclosed killing sites within Cayuga Heights.
4. Fails to explain how the mass-shooting of animals can be safely implemented within easy range of roadways, businesses and homes, when even the Chief of Police is on record saying that he cannot guarantee the safety of citizens if out-of-town deer-killing contractors are brought in.
5. Does not give serious consideration to the numerous cost-effective alternatives to killing that concerned citizens have brought forward, alternatives with a documented track record of success of reducing deer-human conflicts, opting instead to implement an extreme, costly, and highly controversial program.
6. Fails to adequately address the root of the conflict with deer. Any plan that does not devote substantial time and resources to educating the community about deer-resistant plants and about how to protect gardens and shrubs is unrealistic.
June 2012 Deer are under attack in British Columbia. With communities like Grand Forks, Penticton, Victoria, and Nanaimo considering having urban deer killed as part of a “management plan”, towns like Kimberley, Cranbrook, and Invermere have gone ahead with lethal measures. In December, 2011, Cranbrook was the first municipality in B.C. to get a permit from the Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations, the provincial agency responsible for deer control. The contentious issue has received widespread media coverage and on 01/02/12 Carmina Gooch’s comment was read on CKNW’s Bill Good Show: I’m really tired of hearing the same excuses over and over in an attempt to justify the slaughter of our wildlife. What’s missing here is a respect for other species and their right to life. The human population far outweighs that of the deer, so why aren’t we addressing that issue, and managing our growth? There aren’t problems with the animals, just those that we’ve created for them.
In February, the Invermere Deer Protection Society won a temporary injunction in B.C. Supreme Court, which saw the kill delayed until month’s end. The district was unable to reach its “quota” of 100, due to the heroic actions and voices of many. While it was sad that 25 of these magnificent animals died, it appears that other municipalities have rethought their plans. The public has challenged and criticized the kill first mentality of agencies and officials charged with protecting our wildlife. It’s time for new thinking and new initiatives.
June 6, 2012 Victory for Invermere Deer Protection Society
June 30, 2013 Iain Hunter: Executing Deer Not Dignified Behaviour
“Animals don’t behave like men,” says a Watership Down rabbit. “If they have to fight, they fight; and if they have to kill they kill. But they don’t sit down and set their wits to devise ways of spoiling other creatures’ lives and hurting them. “They have dignity and animality.”