The Urban Wildlife Stewardship Society has a commitment for 25 doses of SpayVac from Immunovaccine Inc., a Canadian vaccine development company in Nova Scotia. The doses are to be used in a project later this year to capture, immunize, tag and monitor up to 25 female deer.
“Our pilot program is offered as an alternative to the lethal cull of deer that was undertaken in Oak Bay earlier this year,” said Bryan Gates, UWSS president.
“Public objection to the cull was strong. We want to control and reduce deer numbers in a humane and acceptable manner.”
SpayVac typically prevents conception for five years or longer. The society has applied for the required provincial permit and is applying for a necessary federal permit to use SpayVac in its pilot project.
The project is to be guided by a scientific advisory group chaired by former B.C. assistant deputy minister of environmental stewardship Ralph Archibald.
The group also includes Dr. Daniel Rondeau, an internationally recognized environmental and resource economist from the University of Victoria, and Dr. Don Eastman, retired manager of wildlife research for B.C. and an adjunct associate professor at University of Victoria.
“We are pleased to have the expert guidance of this advisory group,” said Kristy Kilpatrick, UWSS vice-president.
“The combined years of experience with deer biology and other aspects of wildlife management represented by this group is truly impressive.”
Earlier this month, the society launched a public education campaign for fawn season in an effort to reduce car-deer collisions and promote public safety. Signs caution drivers that when a doe crosses the street, fawns may follow.
The UWSS has raised $10,000 so far and plans to continue to solicit funds with the hope that municipalities in the region will contribute. To donate, request a road sign, or learn more about the society visit deerplanoakbay.ca.