Protesters voiced their opposition to a recent deer cull in Cranbrook during a rally at City Hall on Friday afternoon.
The group, which decried the recent culling of 20 deer conducted over the last six weeks, is urging city council to consider non-lethal options.
One of the main sticking points with the cull is that it was a decision made in-camera and not debated publicly, said Rebecca Cayenne, one of the organizers of the protest.
“We are a little upset that it was done in secrecy, which cost us $10,000 funding from the Animal Alliance,” Cayenne said. “We are amazed at the support, and we’d have a lot more people here, but a lot of people are shift-workers and couldn’t come on their lunch, but we appreciate everyone.”
Cayenne was referencing the $10,000 in funding that Animal Alliance of Canada has committed to a regional urban deer translocation trial project, which will soon be conducted by VAST Resource.
In a recent letter to project stakeholders from Ian Adams, a wildlife biologist with VAST Resource, the $10,000 isn’t being pulled from the project, however it is going towards radio collars that will be used in Kimberley and Elkford.
Translocation is an option that Cayenne hopes council will consider.
“There are quite a few successful translocation projects in the States,” Cayenne said. “We don’t think that it should be done in secrecy, we would like them to actually sit down with us, discuss it, work together and let us know what’s going on.”
“…Hazing is a great option. Kimberley had the trial hazing, it worked wonders, we’d love to see something like that. Translocation, there are options for birth control as well. There are plenty of options, more humane to help.”
Cayenne also noted that the public needs to take responsibility when living and interacting with urban deer in the city.
“I think the big thing is education. Know what’s in your yard, there are a lot of people complaining about deer eating their plants and trees and stuff like that,” she said. “There are a lot of shrubs and plants that deer don’t go near. There’s a lot of ways to deer-proof your yard. Educate yourself on deer behaviour, make sure your pets are on a leash.”
This latest deer cull is the fourth cull the City of Cranbrook has conducted. A cull was canceled last March after four clover traps that were used to capture the deer were vandalized.
According to a city report, there were 137 deer counted within city limits last November.