Dear Editor:

I would like to add my voice to the fray regarding the deer cull.

I believe that village needs to objectively re-assess the clover trapping and bolt-gun method as a humane method of culling deer in Invermere.

The mayor has stated that the opportunity for discussion is over since the village did survey public opinion and the task force researched the various options. However, I do believe that many people, including me, did not know much about clover traps at the time, and as they learn more about them, are not convinced that this is an ethical and humane way to reduce the deer population.

I think at this point that we need to monitor at least some of the animals in the traps from the point of capture to the final kill with bolt gun to assess the level of stress. I have heard from several people that some animals are struggling and injuring themselves in the traps. I think the question to ask is: are these occurrences exceptions to the rule or are they a typical response? That is, are the traps generally humane (the deer lies down and is calm) or is the level of stress generated by all of the traps unacceptable?

It would seem to me that once the animal is trapped it is going to be struggling, at the very least when the trappers approach, and perhaps several hours before that especially if a doe is trapped and separated from (last years) fawn or vice versa. I would like to see an observer from the SPCA or a veterinarian monitor the trapping, or the use of infra-red cameras to assess the response of deer. The ultimate objective should be a cull that is as humane as possible.

Personally, I think that a quicker and more humane method might be darting the animal with anaesthetic but apparently this cannot be done within town limits. Would it be possible to bait the deer away from the community and then dart them? If this is done, the meat cannot be used but I dont think this consideration should take precedence over the welfare of the animal.

Marla Oliver