The city of Longueuil, Que., says it is delaying its plans to cull deer herds in Michel Chartrand Park until the fall to be able to kill more of the overpopulated species.
According to a statement from the city, the current “conditions” would only allow for the killing of 30 deer this winter, which Longueuil Mayor Catherine Fournier says is not enough to effectively reduce the animal’s overpopulation.
The mayor says she is following the recommendations of a committee that is stressing the need to drastically reduce the number of white-tailed deer in the park.
The city says it has all the permits it needs to proceed with the intervention, but will put it off until fall 2022 so it can “achieve herd size reduction targets.”
For a reason not clarified in the statement, the city says it will be able to be more effective in killing the animal in the fall with “fewer interventions.”
“Once the herd has been reduced to the capacity of the park, we will be able to consider long-term control methods, such as sterilization,” the statement reads.
Plans to cull deer in the park have sparked protests from animal rights activists. The municipality of Longueuil previously said it would meet with an animal rescue group to discuss alternatives to killing the animals.
“They kind of pretended like they went through a formal process before taking the decision, but I don’t believe it,” said lawyer Anne-France Goldwater, who is working alongside Sauvetage Animal Rescue to intervene on the city’s plans.
Longueuil first announced it had revived a controversial plan to kill most of the deer living in the urban park back in November 2021.
The park is home to over 70 deer — more than five times the number of animals it can comfortably support and over two times more than there were in 2020 when a cull plan was originally announced.
The committee said it considered other options, including relocating the animals or reducing their numbers with sterilization or birth control, but it concluded the only viable short-term option was to capture and euthanize a large portion of the deer.
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