CRD says no to DeerSafe

Animal advocates ‘insulted’ by CRD decision

Members of DeerSafe Victoria are feeling insulted after receiving a letter from the Capital Regional District ignoring their request to remove a member from the deer management advisory group.

Representatives from DeerSafe sent a letter to the CRD on May 14 asking for the removal of Richard Christiansen, a bowhunter, from the citizen’s advisory group and for the appointment of a DeerSafe member.

In a response from CRD Chair Geoff Young, dated May 30, “there was no attempt” to address DeerSafe’s concerns regarding Christiansen, said Kelly Carson, one of the founding members of DeerSafe.

“This is no laughing matter and I don’t appreciate that we’re being laughed at by the CRD, basically, because we’re talking about lives,” Carson said. “We know that there are better ways of handling (deer) than killing them.”

DeerSafe’s main concern is that the advisory group will continue to progress towards a cull.

“It’s pretty clear that the killing solution is going to be the first action to be taken,” Carson said.

More than half of the 11-member committee seems to be leaning towards a pro-cull method of deer management, Carson said, noting that member Lisa Kadonaga’s position is not yet known because of her absence at the CAG’s first two meetings.

Members of DeerSafe have been to both CAG meetings so far and plan to attend them all.

“We’ve been very respectful to the CRD,” Carson said. “We’ve attempted to communicate with them that we have a couple of experts in our group who know about humane alternatives to (culling) deer (but) there’s been no conversation … there’s been no acknowledgement.”

Young has previously stated that it would be unlikely for the board to remove members from the advisory group unless a member was repeatedly absent from meetings or seemed unprepared to participate.

He also stated that while members of the CAG may be representatives from certain groups, the hope is that some common ground can be reached in discussions.

For more information, or to find out when the CAG meets next, go to crd.bc.ca/regionalplanning/deermanage.htm or email deermanagement@crd.bc.ca.