(Montreal) An animal rescue organization is trying to protect a group of white-tailed deer that have grown too large to fit in a park on Montreal’s south shore, but even the head of the Veterinary Ethics Committee says it’s unrealistic to do anything other than euthanize the animals.
The director of Sauvetage Animal Rescue, Eric Dusseau, confirms that all solutions offered by his organization to the city of Longueuil have been rejected.
“It’s David vs. Goliath,” Eric Dusseau said in an interview on Tuesday. We are slowly heading towards a dead end. ”
Longueuil was planning to slaughter half the population of white-tailed deer living in Michel-Chartrand Park, about fifteen animals. But the city backed down last November after the idea sparked outrage and even led to threats against the mayor.
Instead, Eric Dassault’s group proposed moving the animals to a reserve, but the plan failed in February after the University of Montreal’s veterinary ethics committee deemed the strategy dangerous.
Meanwhile, deer numbers in the park continue to grow.
There are now about 70 deer in the park – a number according to Eric Dusseau, and it’s more than what urban green spaces can handle.
They don’t want to move them,” Eric Dusseau said of city officials. “Wow, let’s sterilize them then.”
But the head of the ethics committee, Jean-Pierre Vilancourt, said that even if he did not want to encourage euthanasia, other options seemed unrealistic. Jean-Pierre Vilancourt added that sterilization would be an expensive process in which Quebecers lacked experience.
“It won’t solve the problem, it will only slow it down,” he said.
Jean-Pierre Vilancourt sees a lack of political will to deal with the issue ahead of the municipal elections in November. “The current situation is that we’ve had a huge increase in catastrophic human-caused deer numbers because we’ve been feeding them for years,” he said. “This is our fault.”
Eric Dussault asserts that his company is willing to pay to sterilize the deer so the animals are not killed. One option, he explained, would be a contraceptive vaccine. He suggests a product made by a Canadian company that can sterilize deer for up to six years.
“We are offering other solutions, but we have been told that it is too expensive, that we are not authorized to sterilize the deer, but to move them so that our solution is not recognized,” Eric Dusseau stated.
Representatives from the city of Longueuil could not be reached for comment on Tuesday.
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