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Cull still hot topic following court-ordered lullPosted: February 16, 2012

While the District of Invermere awaits the outcome of an upcoming court hearing concerning a B.C. Supreme Court injunction against its provincial government-approved deer cull, the issue continues to rage among town residents.

Council Feb. 14 read into record a number of letters from residents, while several people in favour of and opposed to the cull once again attended the regular meeting of council.

Statements made in the letters received by council show that Invermere residents remain poles apart concerning the proposed 100 deer cull, which would be done via clover trap and bolt gun.

Citing destruction to a $100 mountain ash, Stuart Tutty noted he was submitting his fourth letter to council complaining about deer.

“Again I bring this to your attention because there are not wild deer from outside the town site area, but deer that have become habituated and are no longer in fear of cars, dogs or humans. Many are born within the borders of Invermere and as we all know these deer species are anything but endangered,” Tutty wrote.

“I am very afraid that if something isn’t done to curtail this serious deer problem one of our young kids will be hurt during the fall rut, never mind the destruction of our landscaping and the danger to our drivers. I am a tax payer just like the tree huggers in our community but it seems to me that council has been siding with the Bambi lovers rather than giving equal time and consideration to all Invermere citizens’ concerns and safety,” he stated.

Letter writer Mary Smith asked, “Does the minority rule now? You’re not going to give into a few ‘sobs’ when the rest of us are fed up to our chins with the over-crowded deer.”

Meanwhile, anti-cull letter writer Mark Pocok warned Mayor Gerry Taft and council about stepping on Mother Nature’s toes “with your hell-bent-for-action cull of the deer. You are setting a precedent with the people around here that will backfire. It is the people you must deal with, not the deer.”

Pocok asks council a slew of questions before offering a solution. “Build up attractive areas for them outside the district boundaries by planning luscious gardens and orchards etc., meant for both human and animal populations. Or, fence in properties that the complainers live on so that they may feel more secure, at least at home,” he wrote.

Deer cull protester Bonnie Lou-Ferris asks the district why it’s in such a rush to kill deer for doing what deer do – eat flowers and shrubs. And aggressive deer are merely protecting their young, she wrote.

“Why can’t we be different and let them live? Radium lets the sheep live. Why can’t we let them live?” She demanded.

Anne and Paul Glassford asked council to not back down.

“All the people whom are against this program will not be so high and mighty once one of their animals or children are attracted or threatened by a deer,” they wrote.

Marv Wheale, opposed to the cull, stated, “There are other alternatives to consider like not feeding deer, keep dogs on leash and sterilization.”

Alissa Raye agreed, noting that using bolt guns “is excessively cruel” and there are better “long term ways to resolve human – deer conflict such as education programs to stop feeding deer, eliminate food attractors, keeping dogs on leashes and even sterilization (which has worked in the U.S.”

Taft said the district’s cull permit expires March 15 and is uncertain how quickly the injunction, initiated by a civil lawsuit from 14 residents calling themselves the Invermere Deer Protection Agency, will be settled. He also isn’t certain what the cost will be to taxpayers, noting it depends on how much court and lawyer time is required.

However, the mayor noted that if the district is successful in court, it would seek payment of court costs.

Ian Cobb/e-KNOW


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