NEW YORK, Jan. 15, 2016 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The U.S. Department of Agriculture Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service's "Wildlife Services" are proposing a 13,361% increase in their mass deer killing activities in New York State from a baseline average of 44 deer per year from 2009 to 2013.
Conserving Tradition Inc., a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit corporation, yesterday filed detailed comments opposing these activities in New York State by a federal agency with a poor track record with regard to harming persons and wildlife. Wildlife Services' record includes the accidental killing of "174,404 state or federally-listed, threatened, endangered, ESA-petitioned, or special concern mammals in the period from 1990-2011, as well as protected birds such as the bald eagle."
The proposed mass deer killing by the Federal government would typically be conducted at night with rifles using means normally prohibited to deer hunters by state law for ecological and other reasons, such as bait, spotlights, and military-style thermo-imaging and other equipment. The Federal government also proposes to augment these mass deer killings by introducing into the ecosystem (if allowed at some point by New York State law) a gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) immunocontraceptive vaccine, (GonaCon) that Wildlife Services believes causes infertility in all mammals, including humans.
With Wildlife Services often paid for mass deer killings directly by municipalities, local taxpayers are expected to be burdened with a minimum of $300 per deer killed by the Federal Government. Moreover, according to the Federal Government, the impact of these mass deer killings, would only be temporarily effective in reducing local deer populations: "[mass deer killings] would be temporary if habitat conditions continue to exist that attract white-tailed deer to an area where damage was occurring." Therefore, the cost to taxpayers would be an annual one.
In contrast to mass deer killings at night by federal agents using means that are normally illegal, Conserving Tradition notes that "hunting as a deer management method is not only costless, it actually is revenue-producing to the state in the form of license fees. And hunting is [according the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation] 'the most effective and equitable tool for managing deer population across the state.'"
The Federal Government justifies its stance supporting its mass deer killings by asserting that New Yorkers "frustrated" by a lack of Federal government intrusion in their State "may try methods not recommended by [Wildlife Services] or use illegal methods (e.g. poisons)." As Conserving Tradition notes, Wildlife Services activities have resulted in multiple unintentional cyanide poisonings of the general public, making "especially ironic the [Wildlife Services] assertion that, without [Wildlife Services] killing deer in New York, New Yorkers will choose to illegally poison them." The substandard record of Wildlife Services itself, writes Conserving Tradition in their comments opposing the massive expansion of Wildlife Services deer killings, "argues against the confidence [Wildlife Services] claims it is due, making the aspersions cast [by Wildlife Services] on the people of New York even more remarkable."
The draft environment assessment in which Wildlife Services seek to increase its mass deer killings in New York State is available at http://www.regulations.gov/#!docketDetail;D=APHIS-2015-0093 and Conserving Tradition's comment letter is available at http://www.conservingtradition.org/news-and-activities.html.
About Conserving Tradition: Conserving Tradition, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit corporation. Its objective is to encourage and preserve know-how in traditional agricultural and homesteading activities, such as growing crops, raising poultry and livestock, cheesemaking, hunting, and beekeeping. The organization was formed in response to a concern that in many suburban and semi-rural areas, the continued practice of these activities is threatened.
Contact: Gary Kalbaugh, [email protected]
SOURCE Conserving Tradition Inc.