Culling urban deer is both inhumane and ineffective, critics say. (File)

Sooke does a good job living with wildlife: advocates

Wildlife advocates take the message to municipalities that culling doesn’t work

Kelly Carson, the founder of DeerSafe Victoria, and Dana Livingstone, of the Wildlife Advocates Coolectivem have joined forces to spread a message about deer.

It’s time, they say, to stop the practice of culling urban deer populations and to instead follow Oak Bay’s example of immunocontraception (birth control) for the animals.

RELATED: Deer culling inhumane

“Let’s be clear. Sooke does not cull deer and, for the most part, is a good example of learning to coexist with wildlife,” said Carson.

“It’s a healthy approach and one that we wish other municipalities would adopt. Right now, there are still too many places where deer complaints led to culling.”

Carson said that besides the fact that killing the deer is cruel and unnecessary, it just doesn’t work.

“What happens is that you get a temporary reduction of deer in the community. But then nature takes over and you have what is called a compensatory rebound,” said Carson.

She said female deer will begin having twins and even triplets in a natural phenomenon where nature tries to fill the void left by the culling. Before long, the numbers are right back to where they started.

As well, she pointed out that you can never cull enough deer to stop new animals from moving into the area to replace the animals you’ve killed.

“Municipalities are islands of urban development in an ocean of wildlife on Vancouver Island. You just can’t stop new animals from moving in.”

Imunocontraception, on the other hand, sees the deer disappear through attrition and doesn’t trigger the same rebound response.

DeerSafe took their message to the recent UBCM convention, but Carson fears that changing attitudes toward wildlife is an ongoing battle.

RELATED: Cranbrook approves cull

“This year the B.C. government has set aside $100,000 for deer control. First of all, that’s not enough money, and second, most of it will go to culling, which doesn’t work. That has to change.”

Livingstone is planning to deliver the message to Sooke council in December in an effort to preempt any calls for culling in the district.

“The community is growing very fast and you know that, sooner or later, someone is going to ask that something is done about the deer,” said Livingston.

“We just want to be one step ahead.”

Another, more immediate, concern for Livingston is the carnage that happens to deer on roadways.

“If you see a deer at the side of the road, realize that there are going to be more. Slow down and watch for them.”

Mainroad Group, the company responsible for highway maintenance and snow removal, reported that more than 600 deer strikes occurred on the lower Island last year.

There have been recent calls for developers to provide wildlife corridors as part of new subdivision plans and for the consideration of wildlife bridges over busy highways.



mailto:tim.collins@sookenewsmirror.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Access: A day in the life using a wheelchair in Victoria

Black Press Media teamed up with the Victoria Disability Resource Centre to learn about barriers

More than 300 teens take to the polls at Mount Douglas Secondary for mock federal election

‘This is a pretty engaged generation,’ says Mount Douglas Secondary social studies teacher

Victoria retirement community celebrates 403 years of life

Four women over 100 celebrate at The Wellesley

CRD aims to reduce solid waste going to Hartland Landfill by a third by 2030

District launches public engagement campaign for waste reduction strategies

Casting call for Big Brother Canada happens in downtown Victoria

Auditions are Friday afternoon at Darcy’s Pub from 4 to 7 p.m.

VIDEO: Explosion, fire sends woman running from Saanich home

Heavy smoke in the area, crews on scene

Zantac, the over-the-counter heartburn drug, pulled in Canada, U.S.

Health Canada also investigates possible carcinogen in some ranitidine drugs

B.C. public safety minister says cannabis edibles not in stores til January

Mike Farnworth says he wants regional issues considered when it comes to licensing

POLL: Do you think the day of the federal election should be a statutory holiday?

Increasing voter turnout has long been a goal of officials across the… Continue reading

Greta Thunberg calls for climate action in Alberta, but doesn’t talk oilsands

Swedish teen was met with some oil and gas industry supporters who came in a truck convoy

Scheer denies spreading ‘misinformation’ in predicting unannounced Liberal taxes

Conservative leader had claimed that a potential NDP-Liberal coalition could lead to a hike in GST

Chilliwack man pleads guilty in crash that killed pregnant woman

Frank Tessman charged under Motor Vehicle Act for accident that killed Kelowna school teacher

Kawhi Leonard, former Toronto Raptor, welcomed back to Vancouver at pre-season game

Fans go wild at pre-season game between L.A. Clippers and Dallas Mavericks at Rogers Arena

Greens and NDP go head to head on West Coast; Scheer takes fight to Bernier

Trudeau turns focus to key ridings outside Toronto after two days in Quebec

Most Read