Oak Bay has received their permit for the cull of 25 deer, but that does not mean that they have to use it. This permit was based on an unreliable, completely unscientific deer count, meaning that Major Nils Jensen obtained his objective through flawed data in the first place. There is also overwhelming opposition to the cull, from the B.C. SPCA as well as many other animal rights advocates and veterinarians.
There are many other methods available to suppress deer, which Mayor Jensen feels no need to look into. These include public education, lowering speed limits, fencing and deer repellents or contraceptives just to name a few. All of these methods are viable, humane options to handle the issue, as opposed to going straight to killing as the number one choice.
In addition to this, the way they are trying to cull the deer is in no way humane. These deer will be trapped in a cage for what could be hours, causing undue mental and physical stress until they are shot. Make no mistake, this is not regular hunting. Culls are also known to be ineffective in the short term. This isn’t going to stop at 25 deer; it’s going to have to happen year after year. And at $600 per head it’s a pretty steep price to pay.
The Oak Bay council is taking a shortsighted approach to a problem with many alternative solutions, all of which would likely lead to better outcomes. The public sphere has a lot of political power, and Oak Bay residents can still stop this inhumane deer cull through an exercise of their public authority. Tell the mayor that this isn’t the type of community you want to be a part of, and that it’s not too late for him to make a smart decision.