Deer are a familiar sight in Sooke

B.C. SPCA opposes deer cull

Animal rights group tells Sooke District council that deer culls are often “misguided” and a “knee-jerk reaction” to a problem

The B.C. Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals wants municipalities to look at other options rather than culls to solve wildlife problems.

B.C. SPCA chief scientific officer Sara Dubois told Sooke District council last week that deer culls are often “misguided” and a “knee-jerk reaction” to a problem that can often be solved by non-lethal means.

Sooke has no plans to conduct a deer cull.

The B.C. SPCA is opposed to the culling of urban deer when there is a lack of credible scientific evidence to support it, or it cannot be achieved humanly.

“We’re not opposed to killing an individual wild animal that poses a direct threat to public safety, but we’re opposed to indiscriminate culling of deer,” Dubois said.

Coun. Kevin Pearson pointed out that anecdotally there appears to be more deer in Sooke’s urban core, yet the area is surrounded by hundred of hectares of uninhabited land.

“Is there more deer still in the wild as opposed to here? Are they migrating here?” asked Pearson.

Recent development in Sooke could be a cause of more deer in the urban area, but unless a proper study is completed there is no way of knowing if the population has increased.

Many communities have different tolerance levels when it comes to deer, and even though the population might not be high, the community’s patience has run out, Dubois said.

“Animal over-population needs to be addressed community by community – scientifically,” she said, adding that means proper deer counts, community input and possibly changes to bylaws.

“Culling is a short-term and unsustainable solution. In particular, indiscriminate culls conducted in B.C. communities may not target the right deer species, gender or age class, or individuals that are of most concern to residents, costing taxpayers hundreds, even thousands, of dollars per deer killed,” Dubois said.

The B.C. SPCA offers these actions for managing urban deer:

Don’t feed the deer. It encourages them to remain in the area and creates dependency.

Fencing. Deer are not likely to jump a fence that they cannot see through.

Deterrents. Motion-activated lights, sprinkler systems, and banging pots and pans will deter deer.

Landscaping. Deer like certain plants, such as narrow leaf evergreens, daylilies and tulips, so these should be avoided. Deer will stay away from poisonous, fragrant and prickly plants like daffodils, lavender and rhododendrons. Using these plants will keep deer uninterested in your yard.

Follow the speed limit. Respecting traffic laws will result in less deer-related accidents.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Local authors nominated for Victoria Book Prize awards

Finalists for 2020 announced in two categories

Patrick brothers who shaped modern hockey also tried, but failed, to remove violence

New history thesis shows efforts to sell a “clean game” in Oak Bay

Central Saanich to formally inform Agricultural Land Commission about soccer pitch proposal

Move is meant for information only with no application having come forward yet

Victoria man to run marathon after overcoming rare cancer diagnosis

Nigel Deacon was diagnosed with ocular melanoma in 2010

Burger sales bring in $5,000 to build Imagination Libraries in Greater Victoria

United Way of Greater Victoria and Big Wheel Burger team up to get kids reading

B.C. or Ontario? Residential school survivors fight move of court battle

It’s now up to Ontario’s Court of Appeal to sort out the venue question

Young B.C. cancer survivor rides 105-km with Terry Fox’s brother

Jacob Bredenhof and Darrell Fox’s cycling trek raises almost $90,000 for cancer research

B.C. migrant, undocumented workers rally for permanent residency program

Rally is part of the Amnesty for Undocumented Workers Campaign led by the Migrant Workers Centre

Preparations underway for pandemic election in Saskatchewan and maybe B.C.

Administrators in B.C. and around the country are also looking to expand voting by mail during the pandemic

Nearly 20 per cent of COVID-19 infections among health-care workers by late July

WHO acknowledged the possibility that COVID-19 might be spread in the air under certain conditions

Ferry riders say lower fares are what’s most needed to improve service

Provincial government announces findings of public engagement process

Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg dies at 87

The court’s second female justice, died Friday at her home in Washington

Comox Valley protesters send message over old-growth logging

Event in downtown Courtenay was part of wider event on Friday

Application deadline for fish harvester benefits program extended

Those financially impacted by the pandemic have until Oct. 5 to apply

Most Read