Saving the Deer
HELP SAVE OUR LOCAL DEER FROM SLAUGHTER; PROMOTE SMART, HUMANE CAMPAIGN
Because of complaints from a number of people on the east side of Syracuse and the Town of Dewitt about deer eating their gardens and potentially adding to the incidence of Lyme Disease and deer/vehicle accidents, a City/County Urban Deer Task Force was formed to research the issue and share information with the public. As of this writing in August , the task force report is about to go to Mayor Stephanie Miner of Syracuse and Onondaga County Executive Joanne Mahoney to give information from this research and to ask them for THEIR DECISIONS on how to best deal with this deer population management issue. What happens in this area of Eastside Syracuse/Dewitt will be the pilot program for other areas in need.
WE NEED YOUR HELP! The most vocal people on this issue have been those who want to kill the deer and for this to happen as soon as possible. Those who have advocated for lethal methods have not thought through the complexities involved with this issue in an urban area. Two site areas that have been under discussion for this proposed culling of the deer are Drumlins Country Club (owned by Syracuse University) and St. Mary’s Cemetery (a Catholic cemetery where the loved ones of families are buried; ie. sacred ground). Both areas are very public and bring up the issue of safety to the public – plus, getting consent from the property owners. There are humane, non lethal options such as immuno contraception and surgical sterilization that are alternatives.
These are humane for the deer and for a community that opposes lethal methods. The humane, non lethal methods are getting more and more public support and have been chosen in the areas of the Village of Cayuga Heights, NY, Hastings-On-Hudson, NY and East Hampton, NY. So there is precedent for Syracuse/Onondaga County to make this choice as well!
Part of the humane campaign would be to install devices which deter deer from crossing the road when a vehicle is approaching. This would be done in areas where many deer cross the road.
Another aspect of the humane campaign needs to be public education. People can be encouraged to take personal responsibility by learning how to limit damage to their property from deer. Inform people about the website deerproofyourgarden.com. Another educational component would be to inform the public that many animals, including songbirds, carry the tick which causes lyme disease. So reducing the deer population does not, in itself, eliminate the threat of lyme disease. It is also important to inform the public of ways to lessen exposure to ticks which actually are associated with many hosts, not just deer.
THE VOICES IN SUPPORT OF HUMANE, NON LETHAL METHODS NEED TO BE HEARD – NOT JUST THE PEOPLE WHO HAVE BEEN VERY LOUD IN FAVOR OF CULLING THE DEER! PLEASE DO ALL YOU CAN WITH PHONE CALLS TO NUMBERS BELOW, LETTERS TO THE EDITOR, AND ASKING OTHERS TO MAKE CONTACT. OTHERWISE, THOSE OF US WHO UNDERSTAND THE IMPORTANCE OF A HUMANE APPROACH WILL NOT BE HEARD.
You can use any of these talking points or just say you are opposed to lethal means and only support humane, non lethal methods:
1) Green Lakes State Park already decided in 2006 and 2009 to oppose lethal bow hunting to try to solve the deer population issue. The public said loud and clear they were concerned about public safety when using lethal means in a suburban area. Also, this park has been in use for many kinds of public activities and needed to remain that way. This situation is so similar to the current situation. And now we are right at the City of Syracuse.
2) The culling of deer creates a vacuum effect so more deer move into the empty space created by killing the deer. This requires repeated killing.
3) There is success with the science of immunocontraception and surgical sterilization without causing harm to the deer or risk to public safety.
4) What manner of killing might be chosen? If bow hunting and trap and bolt are chosen, these methods create additional pain and suffering to the deer. No matter what, why even choose sharpshooters if there are humane, non lethal methods?
5) The city and county government officials are looking into public tax dollars to cover the cost. Let’s use our tax dollars for humane, non lethal methods to problem solve on this issue.
6) What is to stop unauthorized individuals bent on cruelty to animals from coming into these areas to act out violently to harm and maim the deer… if the culling method is chosen?
7) The City of Syracuse and Onondaga County have taken many progressive steps over the past five years in support of animal welfare. Killing the deer is in total opposition to the progressive
approach taken by Syracuse and Onondaga County over the past five years. The humane, non lethal methods of immunocontraception and sterilization are progressive steps we can take.
FIRST, PLEASE CALL MAYOR STEPHANIE MINER AND COUNTY EXECUTIVE JOANNE MAHONEY:
Mayor Stephanie Miner: 315-448-8005
County Executive Joanne Mahoney: 315-435-3516
If you have time, call your Syracuse Common Council representative (if you live in the city) and Onondaga County Legislative representative. If you don’t know who these people are or how to contact them, check with the Board of Elections at 435-8683. You can write a letter to the editor too.
Linda is President of People for Animal Rights, P.O. Box 15358, Syracuse 13215-0358, LDESTEFANO3@twcny.rr.com, (315)488-PURR (7877) between 8 a.m. and 10 p.m., peopleforanimalrightsofcny.org. This article was Translated into Spanish by Rob English.