Monday, July 1, 2013

BC SPCA opposes deer cull in District of Oak Bay, B.C.

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 negligent.

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 management.

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.

http://www.spca.bc.ca/news-and-events/news/deer-cull-oak-bay.html 

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