The BC SPCA has reached out to the mayor and council of the District of Oak Bay, B.C. in opposition to the proposed deer cull in the region. You can view an excerpt of the letter below, sent June 28, 2013.
The BC SPCA strongly opposes a proposal made by the District
of Oak Bay, B.C. to use lethal measures to control deer, as this is
not a sustainable or evidence-based option, in particular for this
type of urban area.
Oak Bay has no means of accurately estimating a transient deer
population, a population that moves in and out of adjacent
municipalities by crossing the street. Decades of wildlife studies on
culling activities show that removal of animals in such a transient
system only creates a ‘sink’ territory for more animals to move
into. An assumption that road kill trends correlate directly to
increases in deer populations is scientifically dangerous and
If there are specific individual deer that have
demonstrated aggressive actions towards humans in Oak Bay, these
individual animals should be treated like any other aggressive bear
or cougar, and removed by the Conservation Officer Service. However,
an indiscriminate cull like that conducted in Cranbrook which
neglects considerations for gender and age class is unethical and
contrary to generally accepted principles of wildlife
The BC SPCA recognizes that the District of Oak
Bay is at a crossroads as certain residents demand some type of
action to deal with deer concerns in the area. Yet, based on lessons
learned from other North American cities dealing with this issue for
the past 20 years, the proposed cull actions are not a
scientifically-sound or sustainable solution.
The BC SPCA strongly opposes the District of Oak Bay’s cull
proposal and encourages transparent and representative community
consultation on the issue, the enforcement of existing bylaws, and
regard for a more comprehensive management strategy including the
implementation of non-lethal management actions and dedicated
resources to measure their effectiveness. Oak Bay must aim to address
the cause of the deer habituation, rather than opt for a convenient,
short-term action that will divide its’ citizens.