Find Humane Solutions To City’s Deer Problem

To The Reader’s Forum:

Councilman Tom Nelson’s recent recommendation to shoot Jamestown’s deer with arrows is truly heartbreaking. It has also proven to be an ineffective way to control a deer population.

The following is an excerpt from an online letter to the editor written by Brandon Yanak:

“(T)here is a misconception that a cull is the only option available.

On the contrary, as wildlife biologist Dr. Allen Rutberg has said, ‘The most visible weakness in the assertion that hunting is necessary to control deer population is that it has largely failed to do so over the last two decades.’ Whenever there is an abrupt, short-term drop in the deer population (as would follow a deer cull), a phenomenon called “compensatory rebound” comes into effect. Since a greater amount of food is now available to the surviving deer, the deer respond by becoming more fertile…

With no benefit of controlling deer population, a cull simply becomes an unnecessary and inhumane practice. When it comes to bow hunting, 54 percent of all deer struck by an arrow are wounded and not immediately killed. They suffer from crippling injuries instead and die a slow and painful death from infections, sometimes weeks later. In Broadview Heights, Ohio, traumatized men, women, and children watched a deer wander the area for weeks with an arrow in her eye. She eventually died two months later from infection. The city ended their bow hunting program soon after…”1

There are HUMANE alternatives to cruelly shooting deer with arrows including contraception. The following is from an online article published on the website for the Humane Society of the United States entitled, “Controlling deer populations humanely – Wildlife fertility control”

“PZP (porcine zona pellucida) is an immunocontraception vaccine that can be used to control fertility in adult female deer and other mammals. Unlike some fertility control vaccines and methods that can cause undesirable behavior changes, PZP simply prevents fertilization from occurring. Most importantly, because PZP is a natural protein, like all other proteins found in animals, it is safe to use and will not harm animals.”2

There are many reasons to enjoy living and working in Jamestown, New York. It would be horrible to have this kind of stain on our city’s reputation especially when there are humane alternatives.

In addition, Jamestown residents deserve leaders who are willing to look for progressive methods of handling human/animal interactions. We also deserve to have our resources put towards methods that work and not to be wasted on those that have proven not to work.

Christine Wigren



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