Penticton deer cull still under discussion

Penticton Mayor Garry Litke joined a group of his peers to address Premier Christy Clark on the deer issue at the UBCM convention this week

Penticton deer cull still under discussion

It wouldn’t be a fall without some mention of urban deer and a potential deer cull.

Along with all the other things going on at the Union of B.C. Municipalities this week, Penticton Mayor Garry Litke joined a group of his peers to address Premier Christy Clark on the deer issue.

“She’s sympathetic to the issue, and she has experienced the problem herself in her own yard,” said Litke.

Litke said Clark has directed her staff to gather more information about the deer problem and the effectiveness of solutions like hazing or scaring the deer, contraception and culling.

“I was sitting with mayors from Invermere, Cranbrook, Kimberley and the (Vancouver) Island where urban deer is a problem,” said Litke, discussing the meeting with the premier. “The consensus in the room is that really the most cost effective is going to be the deer cull.”

The stumbling block is still the civil suit brought against Invermere by an animal rights group seeking to prevent their cull. Until that has finished wending its way through the courts, any plans for a Penticton cull are on hold, according Litke.

“When that gets settled, we are asking the province to take some action, either with wildlife education, prohibiting people from feeding them or whatever the research will tell us that works,” said Litke. “There was a lot of strong feeling that culling is going to be the really only truly effective way, but that remains to be seen.”

Litke pointed out that the costs of dealing with the lawsuit, the results of which will have province-wide ramifications, are being borne by the small town of Invermere.

“It would have been cheaper for them to have put each of their deer into a jetliner and transported to China somewhere than it is to pay the legal costs they are currently experiencing. It’s really unfair,” said Litke. “They are really feeling the pain.”