After some serious reading of the Oak Bay CAO report of Oct. 14 on the deer management project, some major information seem to the lacking. Is that intentional or accidental? The report mentions a deer count was undertaken in June. In truth the count was taken over five days in April. The total number of deer counted according to other documents was 94. This number was not mentioned in the report. The measurement also took into account the number of deer deaths over the year.
The report mentions that in early summer Oak Bay acquired speed readers and signs that were strategically located in areas of high risk deer/vehicle collisions. Actually they were acquired in early August and placed initially on Oak Bay Avenue before being placed at the high accident risk area by the Uplands golf course. Interestingly enough the speed readers have been removed from that high risk area as have two of the new deer warning signs.
Council in a meeting with the provincial veterinarian Dr. Helen Swantje asked if she could inform/educate the citizens of Oak Bay on the trap and euthanize methodology and why only this method would be approved. She agreed, providing her minister was in agreement and time was available. We have heard no more and now Oak Bay staff is relying heavily on various information and fact sheets provided by the Provincial government.
When Oak Bay requested the clover traps the vet stated they were not the modified type, being less efficient, requiring more manpower, would cause more stress to the deer and could possibly injure the operators. For those reasons the provincial vet warns against their use for deer in the trap and euthanize applications.
Finally in regards to deer deaths in Oak Bay, the numbers show the overall figures. There is no breakdown on causes and the way it is written it is implied that all of these deaths were the result of vehicle/deer collisions. That is incorrect. If I remember one set of figures ending in June showed 16 deer had died in Oak Bay yet only six and possibly a seventh was the result of a motor vehicle incident.
There is a lot of secrecy and misinformation out there about the proposed deer cull and we should as taxpayers be entitled to the real facts.