There Is A Kinder, Gentler Way To Thin The Deer Herd

Wildlife management is often a euphemism for killing, and the most beautiful creatures are typically the ones under fire. Why does Mayor Marie Gallo and Parma Heights City Council have this fixation with killing deer through hunting in city parks as the solution?  White-tails are wily by nature, and they turn understandably skittish around gun-packing strangers. An humane effort should be considered by the Cuyahoga County Mayors/City Managers Association and there could be a program with funding from humanitarians. Immunocontraception, a type of contraception that uses the deer’s own immune system to prevent pregnancy, is a viable alternative available to any city. The method has been shown to be effective in a wide range of species, including deer, is not harmful to animals; doesn’t pose a danger to humans; and provides a humane option for urban communities seeking to control the deer population. 

There is no reason for Parma Heights to jump immediately to culling. And culling has been proven NOT to work. It’s a short-term fix, and it has to be done year after year after year. In addition to their inhumanity, shooting deer pose a risk to nearby residents, since rifle bullets can travel up to two miles generally and the intended parks for the cullings are fairly small.   

Deer culling programs generate an endless succession of removal and replacement in which animals die unnecessarily while the root causes of problems go unaddressed. As long as attractive habitat remains accessible (the Metroparks go right through Parma Heights) and no effort is made to suppress the deer population growth rate humanely, the remaining deer will continue to breed resulting in a perpetual kill cycle. Immunocontraception is the only proven method to decrease the number of deer in populations.   

"'We can judge the heart of a man by his treatment of animals,'" said Immanuel Kant; but you don't need an 18th century German philosopher to tell you that. 

Emery Pinter

Worked in marketing research, marketing, and was a Librarian and Bookstore Manager. Advocate for small businesses.  Member of the Dig, Plant, and Grow Garden Club

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Volume 14, Issue 11, Posted 8:51 AM, 11.01.2022