Oak Bay deer need birth control, not death penalty group says
11 deer killed this year in cull
After this year's controversial deer cull in Oak Bay, a local group has stepped forward with a plan that involves giving female deer birth control.
In February, 11 deer were killed as part of the Capital Regional District's deer management pilot project.
A formal report is expected later this month, but now a newly formed group called the Urban Wildlife Stewardship Society is advocating a non-lethal approach to keeping down the deer population.
The society's goal is to capture 25 to 50 deer in Oak Bay and administer what is called an immunocontraceptive, which creates antibodies and prevents deer from becoming pregnant.
"We put ear tags in, give them a shot in the bum and let them go," said Rich Page, a wildlife biologist with the Urban Wildlife Stewardship Society.
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Page says he's spoken to Oak Bay Mayor Nils Jensen about this issue numerous times over the past couple of years.
"We hope to demonstrate that this is feasible and hope they don't ever have to go back to a lethal cull again."
To move forward, the group needs a federal certificate from Health Canada which Page says can be a lengthy process and take up to six months.
Page estimates it costs about $500 to capture the deer and administer the vaccine. However, the Urban Wildlife Stewardship Society wants to make this project a valid scientific study using graduate students who collect and analyze the data, escalating costs to around $1000 per deer.
The society's goal is to raise $50,000 by July. It hopes to be in the field capturing deer by August.
To hear the full interview with biologist Rick Page, listen to the audio labelled Deer Birth Control