Editorial: City deer plan just passing the buck — literally

Penticton, like many cities and towns in British Columbia, has what is referred to as a deer problem.

Deer wander our neighbourhoods for good eats. Can you blame them?

Cities and towns provide them not only with easy access to tasty food, but they also provide safety from predators.

It’s a win-win situation.

If the deer are safe from predation and have easy access to top-notch food, they will go forth and multiply and unfortunately cross the roads when they shouldn’t.

Penticton city council is preparing to deal with the problem by trapping the deer from one neighbourhood and transferring them to Penticton Indian Band land.

This is likely going to win them some political points, but they are just passing the buck, wiping their hands of the less politically correct reality that deer will die.

Mayor Garry Litke is quick to point out the plan to relocate deer is not a cull, simply a change of scenery for the deer.

By definition the plan is a cull.

The definition of cull aside, the city’s plan to relocate the deer may not kill them on the spot, but studies on relocating deer have shown that some deer will die during the relocation process and more deer will die within a month of being relocated as a result of stress and injuries associated with the relocation.

Go back a year later and the percentage of the deer relocated still alive can be as low as 15 per cent according to the Wildlife Service branch of the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Shooting the deer would garner fewer political points, but would be more humane, at least that’s what the experts say.



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