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LETTER: Plan for Sidney Island fallow deer cull inhumane


We’ve been reading about the upcoming cull of fallow deer on Sidney Island, where shooters will spray deer with rapidly fired shots from a helicopter. My stomach knots up.

We moved our family here, 3,000 miles and across an international border, specifically to get away from semi-automatic assault-style weapons rapidly firing clips of 30 shots. Living with that kind of shooting was intolerable. We wanted to go somewhere where the community wouldn’t tolerate shooting, and police would respond to stop it.

I speak from extensive and deep-seated experience that that kind of shooting is traumatizing, even when you are not being shot at. And now these weapons and that kind of shooting have come here.

Nothing about this method of killing the deer on Sidney Island can be considered humane. Although shooting can be humane: when a kill shot is accurately placed the animal can be killed instantaneously, simply crumpling to the ground. Good hunters know this. As a livestock producer, I observed many animals felled by such clean shots.

We are obliged to ensure that when we kill animals we do it humanely, minimizing fear and pain.

But the method described for shooting the fallow deer on Sidney Island, “to pepper a lot of shots in a hurry in [a deer’s] direction,” reminds me of a mass shooting event. It’s barbaric and profoundly inhumane. And expensive.

Surely this project, to kill the destructive fallow deer on Sidney Island, could be managed humanely, with more respect for both the deer and the residents of the island.

Why was this ever approved?

Ann Tiplady

Oak Bay