LETTER: Deer birth control is not long-term planning

Back to the deer problem, the five-year saga…without results.

The article Oak Bay one step closer to deer immunocontraceptive test states that as many as 80 deer could be given birth control, while a permit was issued for 40. This confusing math led me to the actual report which doesn’t provide any concrete information on how long it will take, how much money will be spent or spent already and the list of literature review is one-sided and outdated.

READ MORE: Oak Bay one step closer to deer immunocontraceptive test

The count was done just on adult deer, but last year’s babies are this year’s adults. This calculation is not showing the entire picture. And why do we need to pay money for re-inventing the wheel when the most recent and broad scoped literature survey of urban deer problems in North America indicates fertility control can increase the lifespan of deer.

Some municipalities are reconsidering their initial contraception methods and re-submitting for the funds for more efficient and practical methods or a combination of them.

READ MORE: Moosemeat star talks sustainable living, being famous

Get funds, do the annual cull and donate meat to the food banks.

The advice on deer management from the Urban Wildlife Stewardship Society (UWSS) is just laughable. There are no deer-proof plants. Their diet evolves. If five years ago they did not touch lilac, now they do. If three years ago they did not touch native arbutus, now they do. So, would you advise to remove 20-year-old lilac and plant yarrow to which they will develop an appetite in a few years?

Victoria, the city of gardens, is becoming the city of ugly fences, netting, even electrical fences. The ever-growing amount of deer roadkill in Oak Bay can’t be blamed on growing population and traffic. Oak Bay is an established neighbourhood with little growth of these factors.

But the main issue is safety. The woman on the bicycle who was attacked by deer could sue the council for ignoring safety on its streets.

READ MORE: Confrontation with deer sends cyclist to hospital in Oak Bay

We are on the land of First Nations people who from time immemorial used deer venison as an excellent source of clean and local protein. There is nothing inhumane about it. But giving advice to walk along the streets of Oak Bay with a stick for protection is absolutely ridiculous.

I hope the council stops being led on the leash by UWSS and starts acting in the interest of safety of their constituents.

T. Lielupe

Oak Bay

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