Cruel Mass Slaughter of Deer Planned in New York

Cruel Mass Slaughter of Deer Planned in New York

This alert is no longer active, but here for reference. Animals still need your help.

Wildlife Services has plans to brutally kill hundreds of deer with chemicals and firearms in New York without considering a wholly non-lethal alternative plan. Tell the agency that a non-lethal management plan needs to be considered in order for its assessment to be fair and accurate.

The United States Department of Agriculture's Wildlife Services (USDA-WS) devised a plan to kill hundreds of deer who are perceived to be in conflict with agricultural operations, airports, cities, and local communities. Deer killing is sadly almost always the default “solution” when it comes to navigating relationships with urban deer. Urban settings are actually ideal settings for deer due to an abundance of food from lawns, flowerbeds, shrubs, and other vegetation in parks, and shelter and protection from carnivores.

In Defense of Animals

In Defense of Animals has urged the state of New York to stop killing deer on several occasions, namely at Vassar in 2010, in East Hampton in 2014, and on Long Island in 2015. Our organization even made donations to the Deer Immunocontraceptive Project in the village of Hastings on Hudson, New York.

This time, the Wildlife Services' plan includes gunning down deer as well as increasing hunting permits to kill more deer. Also within the recommended plan, terrified deer can be rounded up and killed with a variety of lethal chemicals that cause respiratory arrest and cardiac arrest. Beuthanasia-D is one of those chemicals, and if used without other anesthetics it can induce cardiac arrest while an animal is still conscious, causing immense suffering.

The good news is that many non-lethal solutions exist if we can only convince Wildlife Services to implement them! Exclusion methods, such as installing fencing, could easily solve conflicts with deer in airports and agricultural spaces. Landscape modifications and planting shrubs and vegetation that repel deer can mitigate conflicts in community green spaces and on private property. Frightening devices, animal behavior modification, and live capture and translocation are also solutions that could be implemented before resorting to unnecessary and cruel killing of deer.

Immunocontraceptives like GonaCon are very successful at reducing deer populations as well. Lastly, Wildlife Services should offer educational programs as a solution to emphasize strategies for coexisting with deer. After all, people need to learn to share Earth with other animals.

Wildlife Services failed to consider an alternative that exclusively considers non-lethal damage mitigation and should go back to the drawing board to consider this alternative, and ultimately implement it.


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