B.C. town considers deer contraceptive to control animals eating up gardens

Image Credit: B.C. Conservation Service

OAK BAY, B.C. - Residents of a picturesque community on Vancouver Island have had enough of deer munching on their gardens, and now a group is looking at whether a contraceptive vaccine might help control the animal population.

Mayor Nils Jensen says the Urban Wildlife Stewardship Society might obtain a vaccine from the United States in an effort to curb the number of deer roaming around in front and backyards and on the roads in the Victoria suburb.

He says 11 deer were killed in a cull last year, but that approach divided the community, where residents wanted a more humane way of dealing with the animals while keeping their hedges and tulips intact.

Jensen says the city will spend $20,000 to pay for a vaccine, and wants the province to match that amount so does can be injected with a serum next year.

The Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations says Oak Bay's funding application is being considered but it needs to provide more information about a contraceptive that would be safe and effective for black-tailed deer.

The province has already provided grants to four communities trying to control their deer population — with three that plan to cull their herds and another that wants to relocate the animals.

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