While the East Hampton Group for Wildlife filed a lawsuit in state Supreme Court to stop the deer sterilisation program in eastern Long Island, others believe that the sterilisation program should continue. Both groups claim they have the deer’s’ best interest at heart.
The Hamptons, also called the “East End”, are a group of hamlets and villages in the United States. Because of tensions on the deer topic, residents of the Village of East Hampton are reluctant to speak their mind for fear of harassment.
The lawsuit – filed earlier this month by the East Hampton Group for Wildlife – claims that the sterilisation surgeries were performed in an unsanitary shed, the veterinarians were not licensed in New York and they did not wear proper protective gear.
Bill Crain, founder of the East Hampton Group for Wildlife said that residents of the Village of East Hampton have yet to find a good reason to sterilise the deer population on eastern Long Island. The total number of deer in the area varies from fewer than 1,000 to 3,000 or more.
Becky Molinaro, the Village Administrator, as well as other residents claim that deer are causing a lot of motor vehicle accident, especially during their mating season when they appear to behave less cautiously. However, Crain is of a different opinion, saying that people are only scapegoating deer, because if they drove more slowly, there would definitely be a lot less accidents.
The sterilisation program in the Hamptons began in January. These types of programs have also been conducted in the village of Cayuga Heights, in upstate New York, and at Cornell University located in Ithaca, New York.
In the Cornell sterilisation program, although the doe population decreased after sterilisation, the buck population grew. Paul Curtis, an associate professor and extension wildlife specialist at Cornell University stated that fawn numbers did decrease after sterilisation, but the population reductions were cancelled out by the growing buck numbers.
According to Anthony DeNicola, founder of White Buffalo Inc. – a non-profit organisation and the leading expert in research and deer management – the village hired White Buffalo to conduct the sterilisation program. Since January, about 50 bucks and 160 does have been sterilised, he added.
Cincinnati also plans to opt for a deer sterilisation program in December. Jim Burkhardt, superintendent of operations and land management for the Cincinnati Park Board said that sterilisation is needed because the number of deer per square mile in Cincinnati is 200, when wildlife professionals say that there should be 15 to 20 deer per square mile.
Kathleen Cunningham, executive director of East Hampton’s Village Preservation Society donated $100,000 for the sterilisation project.
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