Oak Bay’s planned cull for 25 deer is, by the municipality’s own inadvertent admission, cruel and inhumane. I base my comments on Oak Bay’s 2014 request for proposal (RFP) soliciting bids from contractors to do the killing. Contrary to what the RFP states, this is not euthanasia. That refers to putting to death animals who are suffering from ill health or injury. These deer will be trapped in baited cages indiscriminately without regard to age, health, sex or pregnancy. The process will create suffering, not end it.
From the RFP, here’s how it works: In complete secrecy clover traps are set up on private land. They must be out of public view. Two men have up to 24 hours to arrive to kill a trapped animal. These are indigenous wild animals, not domesticated livestock accustomed to human contact or confinement. So, potentially for 24 hours the animal will be struggling, bleating and terrified. One man will throw his full body weight on the deer and wrestle it to the ground. The distraught deer will thrash about wildly, fighting for its life. The other man will try to deliver a fatal charge to the deer’s head from a bolt gun. If the first charge isn’t fatal he will try again or let it bleed to death. Extensive measures must be taken so that this procedure has no witnesses.
Obviously, this is not a humane way to kill an animal and the municipality of Oak Bay knows this because the horrific procedure is described in detail in their own RFP. The municipality realizes that the public knows this too. Otherwise, why all the secrecy? Even abattoirs have observers on the killing floor. It’s time to end the hypocrisy and do the right moral thing: cancel the cull.