In the community
This is Trap and Kill
The BC Deer Protection Society has obtained footage of a clover trap/bolt gun kill. Our society and Animal Alliance of Canada have paid for ads in local newspapers, even mailing out postcards to residents, asking for permission to film the kills from private properties or for submissions of footage by the public. Some residents from the Kootenays have sent us footage and photographs of the plight of the Cranbrook urban deer cull victims. The following is the tragic end of one fawn.
Where has Ministry oversight been while 240 deer (including the body count from this current secretive cull by Cranbrook) were trapped and bolted in BC these past two winters? How do full-grown bucks with antlers die? How do two deer trapped at once die? We know this video answers many questions, but we also know that it raises so many more.
The photo above was taken on January 8, 2015. Two fawns are pinned under a trap that accidentally collapsed onto them. It is unknown if they collapsed the trap in their panic, or if the trap was faulty. They remained like this for two hours before the contractor arrived - the same contractor who took two shots to kill the fawn in the video.
DeerSafe Victoria's Statements on Immunocontraception
Over the past several months, the immunocontraceptive SpayVac has gained significant local media attention as a possible non-lethal alternative to deer culls. With recent endorsement by the CRD for funding to the Urban Wildlife Stewardship Society, our region is about to undertake non-lethal deer population control, the beginning of a scientific deer count, public education, and deer/vehicle mitigation led by a volunteer group.
Does DeerSafe endorse SpayVac?
DeerSafe is first and foremost an anti-cull organization. We prefer to see deer/human conflict managed with options such as fencing, public education, speed limits, wildlife corridors through urban areas, road sign warnings, and human behaviour changes. This is, after all, a human problem rather than a deer problem.
If deer/human conflict cannot be managed in any other way, immunocontraception is an acceptable alternative to a cull.
Does DeerSafe consider clover-trapping and ear-tagging acceptable?
Ear-tagging is a scientific method for conducting deer counts. For anyone who does not have a personal relationship with specific deer, it is one way to identify individuals.
Clover-trapping and ear-tagging can cause some level of distress for the deer; however, those who are implementing a SpayVac program will approach the animals as soon as they are caught, and with far less violence than those who have been bolt gunning them in the head. Bucks will be released immediately. Of course the fundamental difference is that the deer will be released.
What about Native PZP?
PZP (Porcine Zona Pellucida) is the component in immunocontraceptives such as SpayVac that inhibits conception. The developer of PZP, Dr. Jay Kirkpatrick, has been certifying interested citizens in its use and implementation.
Dr. Kirkpatrick has developed a program called Native PZP which differs from SpayVac, and may be of interest to communities for the following reasons:
An annual booster shot will be required, but the ability to reverse the program --should it be discovered that a mistake has been made on estimated deer numbers-- is most appealing.
Would administering the Native PZP booster shot require ear tagging?
Ear tagging isn't necessary because the Native PZP program uses community involvement in which residents identify the does by personal knowledge of the individuals and photographs.
Does DeerSafe endorse Native PZP?
Because the Native PZP plan requires no trapping or ear-tagging, it could be the ideal immunocontraceptive for managing deer should a population control method be proven necessary.
Devin Kazakoff is a Director with the BC Deer Protection Society in Invermere. He has recently travelled to Billings, Montana for the Native PZP training. We are considering implementing a Native PZP program for our province, with help from Dr. Kirkpatrick and his Science and Conservation Center.
BC Deer Protection Society
Devin's PZP interview with The Critical Cat
Will SpayVac or Native PZP solve the deer problem?
Both have proven to be highly effective in their ability to sterilize deer. If there is a deer problem that cannot be managed in any other way, immunocontraceptives, administered properly, will be more effective than culling. This is due to a reaction known as compensatory rebound: when large numbers of deer are removed from the population, competition for food sources disappear and the animals that survive reproduce at a younger age.
The deer have a serious human problem. It's clear that in densely-populated urban areas, such as the CRD, the deer lead challenging lives. It's our belief that anything we can do to make their lives easier will also serve to improve the lives of our own citizens by removing many current fears and misconceptions.
WHAT TRAP AND KILL REALLY IS
"Capture and Euthanize" is a euphemism for "Clover trap/bolt gun killing." The deer enter a baited Clover trap and are held for hours overnight, panicked and thrashing. In the pre-dawn hours two men arrive, collapse the trap onto the deer, throw their bodies onto them, and attempt to kill the struggling animal with a bolt gun to the head.
Some claim that the deer are "sleeping" when the contractor arrives. This is called "capture myopathy" which is a type of shock - the kind that people who have been trapped in elevators for hours suffer from by the time they are freed.
In communities where this method of culling has been implemented, neighbour has been pitted against neighbour, even resulting in a citizen lawsuit, in Invermere, BC.
During the secret and hastily implemented February 2013 cull in Cranbrook, a witness to one trapped deer telephoned a member of the BC Deer Protection Coalition to describe the suffering of the deer and the sounds she made while thrashing in the trap. The contractor appeared after 45 minutes, had harsh words with the witness, and left. An hour later the witness, still standing in a neighbour's yard, watched the contractor return and saw the deer bolt gunned. She was still struggling as she was dragged to the contractor's pickup truck .
The Clover trap
The bolt gun and a flashlight, needed to work in the predawn hours.
The clover trap is collapsed onto the deer.
The boltgun kill. The hand with the flashlight is holding the buck's antler, and the boltgun is against the top of his head.
"Whenever and wherever men have engaged in the mindless slaughter of animals (including other men), they have often attempted to justify their acts by attributing the most vicious or revolting qualities to those they would destroy; and the less reason there is for the slaughter, the greater the campaign of vilification." Farley Mowat, Never Cry Wolf
Thank you to all the Oak Bay residents, and residents from surrounding communities, who came out during an extremely trying time while the council commenced with their deer cull in February/March 2015. You raised your voices every way you could think of; appealing for scientific research, writing and presenting to councils and board members, even walking the streets of Oak Bay day and night looking for signs of those who were creeping around in secrecy.
Mayor Jensen announced that seven bucks and four does lost their lives over a sixteen day period. When he went to the media to declare the cull a success, he could not contain his obvious glee that the public was not able to observe this carefully planned kill.
We have learned that the pilot in Oak Bay was initiated to conduct a cull in a densely urbanized area without detection. Staff time (“not cheap” according to Mayor Jensen) was spent carefully selecting properties, not based on complaints, but on the ability to keep the “euthanasia” of problem wildlife a carefully guarded secret.
We will not accept any more of these killings in our communities. DeerSafe is here to support the many residents of the Capital Regional District who insist on scientific evidence of an urban deer overpopulation and non-lethal human/deer mitigation. We cannot be shouted down just because the loudest voice has the ability to snuff out innocent lives.
We are not going away. Voices carry.
Help us Help the Deer
On January 14, 5,400 citizens of Oak Bay and surrounding areas began to receive post cards from DeerSafe Victoria and Animal Alliance, asking that residents call a number when they see a deer trap. The municipality of Oak Bay and the Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations claim that the clover trap/bolt gun killing is humane, but there has been no proof to support their claims. DeerSafe intends to observe and film this "humane method," and we are asking for your help.
If you are sympathetic to the deer, and your neighbour has a trap in their yard, please call us and allow us onto your property to observe the cull.
If your neighbour suddenly begins to feed deer, this could be due to the need to condition the deer to the property where the traps will be set. The traps will be baited, and the deer must be encouraged into the area in order to make them comfortable. During the day the traps may be collapsed and a tarp thrown over them.
PLEASE BE AWARE THAT DURING CULLS IN OTHER BC COMMUNITIES TRAPS HAVE ALSO BEEN SET IN MUNICIPAL PARKS.
We will also seek answers to the following questions:
DeerSafe held a rally on January 3, 2015 at Oak Bay city hall. Thank you to The Critical Cat for the video of the event. We were heard.
Results of DeerSafe's Survey to Civic Candidates, 2014
On October 19, 2014, DeerSafe Victoria sent a survey to 155 civic candidates in eleven municipalities. We have received ninety-nine responses, and an email from Richard Atwell, Saanich. To see how candidates in your municipality weighed in on our four questions, click the links below. Please contact them if you need any clarification.
PUBLIC INPUT: Before any policies on deer management can be considered you would welcome open discussion with residents in your community.
NEIGHBOURS: Deer are very vocal when caught in clover traps. You agree/disagree that residents should have the option of refusing clover traps to be set on properties that are adjacent to their own.
CAPTURE AND EUTHANIZE:You are knowledgeable about the clover traps that the MFLNRO has authorized to capture deer, and about the bolt guns (the same device used in abattoirs to stun bovines in chutes) to kill deer.
LETHAL VS. NON-LETHAL: When there are proven non-lethal options for deer management (such as wildlife corridors, fencing, deterrents, public education) they should be implemented instead of lethal options.
"If we are not raising new generations to be better stewards, then there is no hope." -Jane Goodall
Oak Bay will commence a clover trap/bolt gun kill of 25 deer at a cost of $1000.00 per deer in January 2015. As with everything deer related that they do, the council will not be announcing the dates of the cull, and the traps will be placed in secrecy on private property.
Unannounced, the CRD began a deer count in Oak Bay on April 8 - 10. Taking part in the count were three CRD employees, including Jeff Weighman, two animal control officers, and Mike Webb who owns West Coast Problem Wildlife Management, a local business with only a cell phone number to contact.
The second week of counts took place April 15 - 17 during the evenings. One of those days (the 15th) was canceled.
Rally for the Deer in Oak Bay, November 23, 2014
A NON-LETHAL POPULATION CONTROL METHOD THAT THE CRD REFUSES TO CONSIDER
One of the non-lethal tools available to control deer populations, should a study
Immunoconraceptives are used widely in the United States with great success. Two pilot projects have been undertaken in BC; on Sidney Island and on DND property. The CRD refuses to entertain the possibility of another pilot
You can read more about SpayVac here:
Why is the CRD Deer Management Strategy determined to proceed with what they are calling a "pilot project" to kill 25 deer by clover trap/bolt gun in Oak Bay and Central Saanich? The removal of 25 deer will have no impact on the deer population. Is this idle curiosity, scientific research, or sadism?
DEERSAFE EXPLAINS CLOVER TRAP/BOLT GUN KILLING AND SPAYVAC
The Petition Closed July 22, 2015
DeerSafe collected 4,132 resident signatures. We also collected 700 - 800 visitor signatures which were not included in our final count due to the wording of the petition ("We the undersigned residents") The petition was presented to the CRD Planning, Transportation and Protective Services Committee whenever we reached another 1,000 milestone.
The BC Deer Protection Coalition Survey to All BC Candidates
The Provincial Government is the authority for wildlife in British Columbia, and therefore holds responsibility for policies around management. The BC Deer Protection Coalition's survey provides candidates with the opportunity to disclose their knowledge and attitudes towards the current situation in our province that has seen deer in BC communities culled over the past two winter seasons.
As with the CRD survey, the questions are answered on an agree/disagree scale:
PUBLIC EDUCATION: The first step in reducing human wildlife conflict is to encourage positive attitudes toward wildlife in communities.
DEER NUMBERS: An ungulate study in all regions is essential before any deer management process can be considered.
CAPTURE AND EUTHANIZE: You are knowledgeable about the clover traps used to capture deer, and about the captive bolt guns (the same device used in abattoirs to stun bovines in chutes) to euthanize the deer.
LETHAL VS. NON-LETHAL: When there are proven non-lethal options for deer management (such as wildlife corridors, fencing, deterrents, public education, adverse conditioning called “hazing”) they should be implemented instead of lethal options.
Deer Issue Survey to 13 CRD Municipalities' Mayors and Councilors
Councilors in each region of the CRD were contacted by email or web contact form on November 11, 2012. Their responses have been collected and compiled by municipality.
Update: February, 2013
Reminders were sent out to mayors and councilors who have not responded to DeerSafe's survey. To date, no more mayors or councilors have replied. If you are a taxpayer in the CRD and you would like to know the opinion that your elected officials hold on the deer cull issue in our communitites, please ask them to complete our survey. The questions are answered on an agree/disagree scale:
Please see our latest educational brochure. The campaign to kill the inconvenient deer in BC is discussed rationally here, with recent research referenced. Deer committees across the province are relying on data from an MoE document published in 2010, "The British Columbia Urban Ungulate Conflict Analysis." Poorly researched and outdated, lethal options for human/deer conflict have been the status quo for "deer management" committees where culling has taken place, such as in Cranbrook, Kimberly and Invermere. We offer a humane solution for every perceived difficulty with deer.
DeerSafe Victoria was formed in January 2012 to take a political stance against the proposition of a deer cull being considered by the CRD of Greater Victoria.
Through research, dedication, and passion we have been able to create an informed and educated counter perspective to the anecdotal understanding of the deer issue that has arisen in our communities. It is with this alternative understanding of the cruel and inefficient practices of a deer cull that we engage in debate and dissent with the CRD who, in our perspective, is acting to meet the interests of private property owners and special interest groups who see the deer as a nuisance.
Our goal is to inform the public and the CRD of non-lethal means of deer co-habitation. We believe that accommodation of a multiplicity of interests is possible, without a need to resort to violence.
We are dedicated to making sure that the deer's lives are given adequate consideration to balance the interests of people who take issue with their presence. We are supportive and inclusive in our deliberations, and encourage people from all backgrounds to engage with us to find a way of meeting the needs of all involved.
Without a voice to represent them, the deer would have no standing to present their interest in living, raising their offspring, or objection to cruel treatment. It is our position that this is unacceptable.
Please look through our website to gain a greater understanding of the issues, politics, and evidence that surrounds the deer. We will be regularly updating our site, so please be patient as we continue to develop it. If you have feedback for us please feel free to contact us!
For more information about DeerSafe Victoria, see our pamphlet here.
Who We Are
We are concerned taxpayers from all walks of life in the CRD. We are professionals, labourers, business owners, civil servants, students, health care workers, service industry workers, and retired individuals who believe the deer have a place with us in our communities.
We all share a common belief that the deer shouldn't die because some consider them inconvenient.
As long as there is a threat to the lives of deer, we will defend them.