March 28th, 2013 by Anja Heister
Deer Advocates Rally To Stop National Park Service Surprise Slaughter
Rock Creek Park vigils will take place at 5 p.m. today through March 30
Washington, DC, (March 28, 2013) – Members of In Defense of Animals (IDA) and other concerned citizens and deer advocates will hold an emergency protest rally and vigil Thursday, March 28 at 5 p.m., and every evening through Saturday, March 30. The vigils will alert the public to the onset of the National Park Service’s (NPS) deer slaughter.
In a surprise move, the NPS announced late yesterday afternoon it would begin an unprecedented killing of deer in Rock Creek National Park last night – Wednesday, March 27 – with plans to continue the slaughter each night through Saturday, March 30. This is contrary to the statement in the National Park Service Decision Document that the killing would be done “during the late fall and winter months.” Deer advocates believed that if there had been no killing by the end of this winter, there would be no killing until next fall at the earliest.
The killing is scheduled to take place between 10 p.m. and 4 a.m. Practically tame and pregnant deer will be lured to piles of apples and grain where they will be mowed down with bullets and arrows.
In Defense of Animals (IDA), along with five Washington DC residents, had filed a lawsuit to stop the killing, based on numerous scientific arguments and the availability of a more humane alternative – contraception. U.S. District Judge Robert Wilkins dismissed the lawsuit on March 14. In his opinion, he wrote that it is not the role of the court to decide how the deer are controlled in the park.
Protesters will meet at the “Rock Creek Park” sign at the corner of Military Road, NW, where it intersects with Oregon Ave. and Glover Rd., NW. This is one of the few roads that will still be open to the public during the deer kill.
Interviews with the protest organizers are available in advance upon request, or at the protest site.