The Nanaimo Deer Cull

Edna Chadwick of the Rock City Road neighbourhood recently sent this letter to Nanaimo City Council:

“I was absolutely appalled when I read that Nanaimo was considering a deer cull and even more appalled that 66 percent of Nanaimo Daily News readers supported it. Rather than blaming the few people who choose to feed the deer, I suggest the blame should be laid on the never ending development of deer habitat, the increased traffic due to that development, and drivers who drive without any due care or consideration for wildlife.

Darrell Bellaart described the deer as pesky. He said that there is constant frustration because deer ravage gardens, can be aggressive, and goodness me, keep getting in the way of our precious cars. I have lived on the island for 22 years, also have a large garden, have experienced frustration with deer eating my plants, but I have found ways and means of overcoming that problem. I come in contact with deer all the time and have yet to meet an aggressive one. As for the death toll on the roads of over 30 in one month, I don’t call that pesky Mr Bellaart, I call it tragic.

Deer have been accused of ecological damage by some. I find this the height of arrogance when humans are responsible for so much ecological damage that it pains me to think about it. To say that deer might start trampling our children in the schoolyards and playgrounds is laughable. Mayor Ruttan says that culling deer would be unpopular politically. Darn right it will.

I’m disappointed in the people who voted for the cull, many of whom came to live here as I did because of the abundant wildlife and beautiful natural environment. I’m sure we can find answers for the so called deer overpopulation. It’s a pity the deer can’t find answers for the human overpopulation.”

Mayor John Ruttan replied to Ms. Chadwick as follows:

“Thank you for your email. I would like to clarify the manner in which this matter arose. The media contacted me to advise that the Province of British Columbia is “considering” whether to assign (read that as “download”) the responsibility for the control of wild animals to the municipalities. The provincial government currently has that responsibility through their Conservation Department. The City of Nanaimo does not have the equipment or staff to handle this responsibility, and I can assure you that we will resist their every attempt to “download” this basic provincial responsibility. At this time, it continues to be an entirely provincial matter and hopefully it will remain that way.”

Councillor Merv Unger sent Edna this:

“Nanaimo has NO intention of culling deer. We don’t even have the authority, it’s a provincial purview. The province has suggested dowloading that on cities, but in Nanaimo we’re not interested in doing their dirty work.”