Petitions Ask to End Deer Killing

August 7th, 2013 by Anja Heister


WASHINGTON, D.C. (August 5, 2013) – Washington, D.C. residents today petitioned the National Park Service to halt all further killing of deer in Rock Creek Park, based on new information from an expert that deer are not the cause of any forest regeneration problems in the Park. The group, joined by In Defense of Animals and the Washington Humane Society, presented two petitions to the Park Service: a legal petition, pointing to a new analysis by a leading forest ecologist at Yale University casting serious doubt on the Park Service’s interpretation of the scientific studies used to justify the killing; and a petition signed by nearly 12,000 people opposing any further killing of deer in our Nation’s Capital.

In Defense of Animals“The Park Service’s original decision to kill this native wildlife for the first time in 120 years made no sense,” said D.C. resident Carol Grunewald, “but continuing to kill these animals in light of this new information would be particularly inhumane and a waste of taxpayer money.”

In Defense of Animals’ Campaign Director Anja Heister added, “It is now clear that there is no evidence deer are causing damage to the native vegetation in Rock Creek Park – the Park Service’s own internal documents show that it’s exotic, invasive plants from private properties along the Park’s border that are displacing the native vegetation.  And even if the deer population needed to be controlled, there are far more effective and humane ways to do so.”

Washington Humane Society Vice President Scott Giacoppo urged the Park Service to reconsider how it is managing deer in Rock Creek Park.  “There simply is no need to continue to bait and shoot these unsuspecting animals with guns,” he said.

Highlights of the petitions include:

  • An analysis of the Park Service’s own data by Dr. Oswald Schmitz, Director of Yale University’s Institute for Biospheric Studies, showing that deer are not preventing the Rock Creek Park forest from regenerating;
  • Evidence that a much more serious threat to the park’s native vegetation is the increasing number of invasive exotic plants choking the Park’s native vegetation; forcing deer to leave the Park in search of food, resulting in an increased risk of car collisions and damage to neighboring landscaping;
  • Overwhelming public concern that killing native deer with guns will change the character of the park “from a haven of peace and tranquility to just one more place of violence;” and
  • Increased use of nonlethal fertility control in other parts of the country.

“With this information, the Park Service has no rational reason to kill deer again this fall.  It’s clear the deer don’t spread exotic plants or inhibit forest regeneration,” said Jessica Almy, a lawyer at Meyer Glitzenstein & Crystal, the public interest law firm that prepared the legal petition.

Referring to recent Congressional testimony by Park Service Director Jonathan Jarvis that the sequester has caused the agency to cut vital services to national parks throughout the country and impose a hiring freeze, Carol Grunewald added, “Why would the Park Service continue to spend tens of thousands of dollars of taxpayer money on killing deer again, when the scientific data show that the deer are not the problem?”


30 Responses to “Petitions Ask to End Deer Killing”

  1. August 27, 2013 at 12:49 am, Christine Cerqueda said:

    Please stop the killing of deer and other wildlife. They are where they belong, in their natural habitat.

  2. August 26, 2013 at 10:50 am, Gill Turner said:

    Deer hunting not accepable, about time it was abolished.

  3. August 20, 2013 at 9:21 pm, Liz Campbell said:

    It’s insane to kill the defenseless deer, they need to be protected, not brutally killed, there are other methods
    To control them.

  4. August 20, 2013 at 10:41 am, kathy harrop said:

    Please stop deer hunting. These beautiful animals have a right to live

  5. August 20, 2013 at 3:57 am, sonia vitale said:

    Deer hunting is a brutal vicious sport.

  6. August 18, 2013 at 9:35 pm, Deb Fahey said:

    Why do humans find it so easy to kill a living being? Stop the killing.

  7. August 16, 2013 at 10:29 am, Manel said:

    Men do the violations and the innocent Animals pays very high a price with their lives. The MOST CRUELEST BEAST on the PLANET are HUMAN BEINGS.!!! So Pathetic. STOP murdering the magnificient animals on this Earth. They belong to the Planet earth & NOT for subhumans to butcher.

  8. August 16, 2013 at 10:13 am, Dora Hardegger said:

    Please stop killing deer, bears or any animal. We have to protect these animals from extinction.

  9. August 16, 2013 at 5:26 am, vicki.ginoli said:

    Every life is important – show some compassion and stop the killing!

  10. August 16, 2013 at 3:21 am, Ook Chung said:

    Deers are gentle animals. Stop killing them for fun.

  11. August 16, 2013 at 2:48 am, Maria said:

    I think people have no rules to kill animals! And above all hunting now a days is only cruelty to pleasure freaks!

  12. August 16, 2013 at 1:16 am, Steven Hanley said:

    Deer hunters are evil bastards. Shooting these scumbags would be fun.

  13. August 16, 2013 at 12:14 am, Lindsay Southcombe said:

    As usual, animals are being scapegoated for the mistakes of man. we should leave the wildlife alone and deal with our own mistakes.

  14. August 15, 2013 at 11:48 pm, Helen said:

    I am tired of the dumb Human Race killing innocent Animals. I would love to see Animals pick up guns and kill the stupid Humans.
    Animals should be on the Endangered Specie all Animals WILD AND DOMESTIC.

  15. August 15, 2013 at 7:13 pm, EVA ADAMYAN said:


  16. August 15, 2013 at 5:46 pm, Gilles Dubois said:

    Le jour viendra où le fait de tuer un animal sera condamné au même titre que celui de tuer un humain.
    Léonard de Vinci, 1452-1519, Prophéties.

    That Mean, something like.
    One day will come when killing an animal will be condamned as if it was a human that had been killed.
    ( I would like to see that)

  17. August 15, 2013 at 5:06 pm, maria rosaria said:

    i cervi vanno protetti,la caccia verso qualsiasi animale è solo un atto brutale e barbaro verso creature indifese, non chiamiamolo sport

  18. August 15, 2013 at 2:51 pm, Judi Trecartin said:

    Please stop the deer killing….

  19. August 15, 2013 at 2:38 pm, Reidun Carstens said:

    Animals need protection !
    Stop ALL DEER HUNTS !!

  20. August 15, 2013 at 2:29 pm, Joan Faszczewski said:

    Please stop killing deer, bears or any animal. We have to protect these animals from extinction. I’m getting sick of tire of complaining about our wildlife. They were here before anyone else was. Deer to me are peaceful animals they do not commit any crime. They do not carry any weapons. So stop this deer hunt.

    • August 15, 2013 at 8:26 pm, Dawn Oesterle said:

      > What is wrong with this picture here…. Who is making money off of this one. Proven….. deer not a problem, leave them alone. This is like the holocaust for every animal in the world. God bless them all. Man is destroying our animals, wildlife etc. Greed, greed, greed. sick people.

  21. August 15, 2013 at 1:56 pm, Norma Sandler said:

    Hunters take the deer with the best genes, the ones in their prime, leaving the old, weak and sick ones thereby weakening the gene pool. Nature does the exact opposite. What kind of insanity makes a person take pleasure in the power of killing innocent animals. I think they are sexual perverts who have trouble in the sack. Speciesism is the vilest, deadliest, most perverted and most prevelent “ism” taking more sentient lives than all the wars and deseases combined. Leave the deer alone.

  22. August 15, 2013 at 1:14 pm, John Arnold said:

    Please stop this deer hunting – have respect for all wildlife

  23. August 15, 2013 at 1:12 pm, John Arnold said:

    Please, please stop this deer hunting- have respect for all wildlife

  24. August 12, 2013 at 9:49 pm, tim said:

    I’ve always thought this was really sick, animals walking in their homes, and drunk people sitting in a tree-stand waiting to shoot and calling it sport…’s sick

  25. August 12, 2013 at 6:38 am, Katie McHenry said:

    Deer are not a threat to vegetation in VA, DC and MD… Humans are! This is entirely inappropriate and flat out wrong. The most surefire way to enrage the public is to brutally massacre the local deer population – please don’t do it. Thank you.

  26. August 11, 2013 at 5:02 pm, viviane said:


  27. August 07, 2013 at 4:18 pm, nancy zebracki said:

    can’t hunters watch a hockey game and just leave deer and all animals alone?

  28. August 07, 2013 at 4:15 pm, Marcie Newman-Perskin said:

    Animals need protection
    We’re on a path of Destruction as well
    Stop ALL DEER HUNTS !!

  29. August 07, 2013 at 2:29 pm, Kim Martin said:

    Deer hunting is a brutal vicious sport. The amount of deer populations can be controlled other than murdering them. Let the live as they should in a peaceful safe environment