Thursday, 22 Oct 2020

‘They’re not going to leave on their own:’ Penticton neighbourhood requests deer cull

Residents of a manufactured home park in Penticton, B.C., are calling on the City of Penticton to approve a deer cull in their neighbourhood.

Park residents Nick Iannone and Robert Cartwright are spearheading the campaign and will make their case before a committee-of-the-whole meeting on Tuesday.

Iannone said urban deer are wreaking havoc on Figueira’s Manufactured Home Park on Yorkton Avenue by damaging landscaping and littering yards with feces.

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“They did close to $8,000 [in damage]. We did a survey with everybody in the park, just for plants, roses etc.,” he said.

The park is located on the edge of the city and is home to seniors over 55 years of age.

Cartwright said the hungry ungulates chomp on his peach tree, rendering it useless.

“With the deer that are here, they are resident deer, they are urban deer and they’re not going to leave on their own. And deer-proofing, we’ve tried it all,” he said.

Residents say they’ve tried to solve the issue with deer repellents and landscaping alternatives, but to no avail.

The pair argue the buck stops at city hall. They are calling for drastic action to eliminate the problem.

“We’re hoping we can get a permit, but it has to go through the city, and some type of cull,” Iannone said.

The City of Penticton has not been supportive of calls for deer culls over the past decade, but Iannone is optimistic the new mayor and council will champion the cause.

“They already know what’s going on and I think as a new council it would be a great opportunity to get something started,” he said.

The residents want the municipality to apply for provincial funding to implement the cull.

A factsheet on urban deer management in B.C., which is available on the B.C. government website, said the province launched an urban deer management program in 2016. The program provides $100,000 each year to help fund community-based deer management projects.

The factsheet said population reduction strategies include lethal removal by culls, but deer carcasses must be harvested and the meat donated to charitable groups.

Wildlife experts advise that capturing deer in a collapsible clover trap and euthanizing them with a bolt gun is the safest, most efficient and most humane method of deer control in urban areas.

Cartwight said whether it is translocation or euthanization, “they have to be removed from the park.”

The Ministry of Forests, Lands, and Natural Resources said it is aware of the resident deer concerns and “will continue to be in contact with local government and residents.”

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