Sunday, January 17, 2016

What Deer Cull Killing Looks Like - (You Don't Want to See It)

First Footage of Deer Cull Exposed In B.C.

by Jordan Reichert  - Victoria Animal News

The B.C. Deer Protection Society has released the first footage of the clover-trap and bolt-gun method of killing deer used in deer culls across British Columbia.

This footage was captured during a recent deer cull taking place in Cranbrook, B.C on January 5th, 2015. There is no other footage of deer being killed by the clover-trap/bolt-gun method of killing available to the public.

The video shows a fawn waiting in a trap prior to the contractors arriving, as they approach the fawn appears to become very distressed and begins trying to jump out of the trap. Once the trap is collapsed down on top of the fawn, it is bolt-gunned in the head once and then again approximately a minute later. It is unclear if the fawn is still alive after the first time it is bolt-gunned.

President of the BC Deer Protection Society, Kelly Carson, said that the deer cull had been “Touted as “humane” by the Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations, and by mayors and councilors in several B.C. cities and towns, the public can now decide for themselves if this cull is humane.” When Carson was asked about what she thought of the video, she reported that “Seeing that the fawn had to be shot twice, as the first shot didn’t kill him/her, one has to realize how difficult it must be to “dispatch” an adult buck with antlers, or a full-grown doe. Seeing the difficulty that the contractor had in killing one young deer, we can only imagine how horrific it was when the time came to kill two at once.”

The BC Deer Protection Society has sent a letter to Minister Thomson urging an end to the cull in Cranbrook and asking that the contractor be investigated due to several permit infractions, including an instance where two fawns laid pinned under a collapsed trap for two hours before the contractor arrived. It is not known how the contractor was able to kill the two “humanely.” When the BCDPS contacted Ministry biologist for the Kootenay region, Irene Teske, she said it was “not uncommon” for two deer to be caught in the traps at once.

Deer culls have been used in various cities across B.C. including Invermere, Kimberley, Cranbrook, and Victoria to deal with what some in the community deem an “overpopulation” of deer in the various regions. However, deer population trends show the numbers of deer remaining steady or being in decline over the last several years. Furthermore, a more recent report shows a population drop of 31,000 deer in the Kootenay region between 2011 and 2014.

In Victoria, culls have been a topic of significant controversy when in early 2015 Oak Bay had their own deer cull. Eleven deer were killed in the Oak Bay deer cull which were heavily opposed by DeerSafe Victoria and the BCDPS due to concerns about the the methods used being inhumane. DeerSafe had requested to be witness to the cull, so that there may be some public oversight, but they never received a response from the municipality. They hope that this video will show citizens and communities considering a cull just how distressing it is for the deer.

Updated: A petition has now been started in opposition to deer culls across B.C. You can sign and share here.

Jordan Reichert

Victoria Animal News

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