Animal habitats are being destroyed by development. Bear, deer and other animals are heading for the suburbs to find food. Of all the animals, deer pose the most problems.
Deer are overrunning many towns. They are eating plants and hedges. They are foraging for food. They carry ticks that cause Lyme disease. And they are causing car accidents. Many farmers say the deer are hurting their crops.
A town on Long Island, New York is trying something new. They are hiring sharpshooters to reduce the deer population.
The deer will be shot after dark. The rifles will have night sensors and silencers. The town will not be disturbed. Government money will pay for trained professionals who work for the Agriculture Department.
There is disagreement about the project. No one doubts that the deer population is growing. No one says they are not an annoyance to the community. But some people think killing defenseless deer is just plain wrong. They say the deer are simply living creatures. Said one resident, “These are beautiful, gentle creatures that have no voice.”
Even those who are in favor of the project are sympathetic. They say they have tried fences and other ways to control the deer. They believe is no real choice but to slay them.
One official said, “This is not an easy subject, but the deer are owned by the people of the state.”
The venison from the deer will go to food pantries.
Source: The New York Times December 18, 2013