Why We Oppose A Cull
Below are some of our basic criticisms of the CRD and Ministry of Environments "evidence" of a deer problem. To see the full response "Developing a Progressive Non-Lethal Human/Deer Conflict Resolution Strategy For British Columbia" developed by the Animal Alliance/ Environment Voters of Canada, please click here.
The BC Deer Protection Society has a new website:
Deer Repellant to Order Online
Living with Wild Neighbours in Urban and Suburban Communities
A guide for local leaders.
The BCDPS has been documenting the cull in Elkford, BC since it began on January 6, 2014.
Trap locations were revealed on a Google map as residents who saw them contacted us with the information. See the link:
LEARN MORE ABOUT NON-LETHAL DEER MANAGEMENT
Does all the talk about Lyme disease concern you? Do you worry about deer/vehicle collisions? Read this link:
The BC Deer Protection Coalition is now a registered Society. We include the Invermere Deer Protection Society, DeerSafe Victoria (grass roots), the Elkford Deer Protection Society, Born Free Canada and a registered political party - the Animal Alliance and Environmental Voters Party.
This is our website:
The Master Gardener Association of BC has advice for gardeners about deer resistant plants:
Currently, the CRD does not have valid or reliable population statistics as to how many deer there actually are. They also have no real statistics on the causes of the deer being the area, of the threat deer pose to human health, or the extent of economic losses deer may have caused.
The CRD has used complaints from a small group of community members and word of mouth as their main platform for spending taxpayer dollars on this project, while having no empirical analysis to support their claim that there is a deer overpopulation.
There is substantial evidence that a partial cull of the deer population will only lead to a rebound in the population soon after, as nature abhors a vacuum, and would only lead to another cull. This may serve hunter’s interests, but certainly not that of the community at large. It teaches our children poor environmental stewardship practices and can be a very emotionally traumatic experience to witness.
Ministry of Environment and CRD documents used to inform the Citizens Advisory Group emphasize a cull over non-lethal options without solid research to back this why this is better. As well, the Ministry of Environment is regularly lobbied by pro-hunting groups to serve their interests, and the CAG itself includes a bow-hunter, while it is supposed to be composed of non-biased citizens.
There are many short and long term non-lethal strategies available that enable peaceful co-habitation with the deer; everything from
It Is Just Cruel
Killing deer by the captive bolt method proposed and used in other B.C. communities is both terrifying for the deer and an inefficient method of killing. Deer are animals with a strong fright and flight reflex, and entrapment can cause them severe stress. As well the bolt gun method of killing is not reliable, as it is meant for slaughter houses where the animals are in a controlled environment such as a shute. Because the deer may not be killed by the bolt and may
Bow hunting is being considered for our Saanich deer. It is not condoned by the BCSPCA due to the great potential for suffering in the animals, such as arrows lodged in their bodies, a loss rate when the animals run off and are not found and the potential for missed shots due to the sound of an arrow leaving the bow that startles the animals.
Critique of CRD Principles, Goals, and Objective Questionnaire for the CAG
The online document that the CRD has posted here, which they state is to get community feedback, to help direct the CAG’s strategy development on deer management leaves a great deal to be desired. It is comprised of leading questions that are vague in regards to how they are supposed to be applied to the deer. This leaves the questions open to manipulation in favour of the CRD’s evidence-lacking proposal of a deer cull.
Throughout what is supposed to be a transparent and democratic process the CRD has consistently ignored DeerSafe Victoria’s requests to have greater involvement in the decision making process to represent the interests of the deer, while other interest groups who support a cull have been given front and centre access to push their priorities through. What is clear from the wording of the questions, which were designed by those who support a cull, is that they are biased against the deer and are attempting to divide people’s interest into a humans vs. deer issue.
Don’t be fooled! Non-lethal, pro-active, and education based methods of deer co-habitation work, it is only the will of people and politicians to compromise that is sometimes lacking.
Some examples of how the questionnaire was biased are listed below:
“To what extent do you agree that the "Need for sustainable agriculture" should be a Principle of the Regional Deer Management Strategy?”
- How does the CRD define “sustainable agriculture”? Sure, sustainable agriculture sounds great; however, what does sustainable mean in the context of whether people are willing to co-habitate with other species, like deer.
“To what extent do you agree that the "Solution must have long term sustainability and be practical (ie cost) (does not preclude the use of short term options)" should be a Principle of the Regional Deer Management Strategy?”
- When they state the “solution must have long term sustainability” they have precluded that there is a problem, which has not yet been established by the CAG or any government body since they have not provided any concrete evidence of a significant deer issue.
- By adding the “practical” component and relating it to cost, they are once again dividing the issue. A sustainable long term “solution” is practical, if not essential, and sometimes it costs money to get things done right. Sustainable often is associated with not taking shortcuts, which is what a cull would do.
“To what extent do you agree that "Serious consideration for all viewpoints" should be a Principle of the Regional Deer Management Strategy?”
- The CRD has already established that it is not willing to “seriously” consider all viewpoints by excluding DeerSafe Victoria from being involved in any aspect of the deer management process to date and ignoring our requests for them to be more transparent and less biased.
“To what extent do you agree that "Minimize human - deer conflict" should be a Principle of the Regional Deer Management Strategy?”
- What conflict are they referring to? So far, the majority of complaints have arisen from the people whose gardens have been used by the deer for food. For many citizens of the community this type of conflict is not worth killing deer over. This is not a war!
“To what extent do you agree that "Consideration of all options and solutions based on research and information" should be a Principle of the Regional Deer Management Strategy?”
- DeerSafe Victoria has already severely critiqued the evidence and research that the CRD and Ministry of Environment has put forward for deer management. Their evidence, when not anecdotal, is poorly constructed and does not stand up to evidence that their conclusions are invalid. See our critique here.
“To what extent do you agree that "Consensus is optimum" should be a Principle of the Regional Deer Management Strategy?”
- Consensus for a cull is what the CRD has already designed through the CAG by stacking the group with farmers who want to see the deer gone, a bow-hunter, and others who see the deer simply as a nuisance to be disposed of. While not all members of the CAG appear unsympathetic to the deer, the numbers are stacked against them. This biased process was developed by the CRD when they had spoken publicly that the CAG would be a group of non-partisan individuals. This is an affront to the democratic process they are expected to uphold.
“To what extent do you agree that "Respect First Nations" should be a Principle of the Regional Deer Management Strategy?”
- This question does not make sense. Is the CRD planning not to respect First Nations in their Regional Deer Management Strategy? They need to be clearer as to the context of respecting the rights of First Nations and how this will affect the deer.
“To what extent do you agree that "Considerations for opportunities and impacts on local food security" should be a Principle of the Regional Deer Management Strategy?”
- This is a very confusing and vague question. “Opportunities and impacts” are extremely broad terms that could have a wide variety of meaning. Making sure that local food security is maintained has nothing to do with the deer, and everything to do with politics.
“To what extent do you agree that "Address the deer-human conflicts in the region: agricultural, impacts, public health and safety and ornamental gardens" should be a Goal of the Regional Deer Management Strategy?”
- This question poses that there is a deer-human conflict in the first place. While we accept that there have been many claims by particular interests in the Greater Victoria area regarding the presence of the deer, the idea of there being a deer-human conflict has been greatly exaggerated by the media and politicians. In fact, there has been hardly any deer-human conflict, it is about deer eating vegetables and flowers, hardly conflict.
- While there has been a great deal of anecdotal evidence used to promote the concerns for public health and safety, there is little evidence that there is a need for concern. People are more likely to be harmed by another person than a deer.
- Ornamental gardens are a pleasure to enjoy, but to take a life because a deer ate your tulips is just plain excessive. Fencing, deterrents, and adaptive planting are all non-lethal options that work.
- Agricultural interests have consistently reported heavy losses due to the deer. Yet, they have not provided any hard proof of these losses, only abstract estimates. Some report losing tens of thousands of dollars, yet instead of being proactive and spending money on a fence to prevent further losses they continue to lobby for a cull, outsourcing these costs to taxpayers.
“To what extent do you agree that "To decrease the incidence of deer-human conflicts in agricultural, rural and urban settings in both the short and long term" should be an Objective of the Regional Deer Management Strategy?”
- Once again, there is no significant evidence of a deer-human conflict. What conflict does exist is that of people wanting to kill the deer, rather than considering changing their own behaviour. A more honest statement would be that there is human-deer conflict.
“To what extent do you agree that "Improve the level of information regarding impacts and propose a set of indicators for monitoring for human deer conflicts" should be an Objective of the Regional Deer Management Strategy?”
- Some concerned members of the CAG have consistently asked for better information to make decisions with, and for the CRD and farmers to back up their claims with hard facts; to date there has been little response from either of these groups to alleviate these concerns.
Links to other organizations oppossed to the killing of deer in their communities here in B.C. and abroad.
Please note that each organization has its own unique sense of advocacy for the deer, so these links do not necessarily express the views of DeerSafe Victoria.