September 24, 2021

La Ronge Northerner

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Michael-Chartrant Park | Longway white-tailed deer options are exhausted

(Montreal) An animal rescue organization is trying to protect white-tailed deer that have grown too large for a park on the south coast of Montreal, but even the head of the veterinary ethics team says it is unrealistic to do anything other than euthanize animals.


Virginie Ann
Canadian Press

Eric Dassault, director of Savage Animal Rescue, confirms that all solutions provided by his organization to the city of Longwell have been denied.

“This is David against Goliath,” Eric Dussault said in an interview Tuesday. “We’re slowly moving towards a dead end.”

Longwell planned to slaughter half of the population of white-tailed deer living in Michael-Chartrant Park, that is, about fifteen animals. But the idea sparked outrage last November and led to threats against the mayor.

Instead, Eric Dassault’s team proposed moving the animals to a sanctuary, but the plan failed in February following a veterinary ethics committee affiliation with the University of Montreal that considered the strategy dangerous.

Meanwhile, the number of deer in the park continues to increase.

There are now about 70 deer in the park – a number according to Eric Dassault, which is many times more than the urban lush space.

“They don’t want to move them,” Eric Dassault told city officials. “Well, then let’s sterilize them.”

But Jean-Pierre Wylancourt, chairman of the ethics committee, said while he did not want to encourage animal euthanasia, other options seemed unreliable. Contraception was added by Jean-Pierre Wylancourt as an expensive procedure that Quebec lacks expertise.

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“It won’t solve the problem, it will only slow it down,” he said.

Jean-Pierre Wylancourt opined that there was no political will in dealing with this issue before the municipal elections in November. “The current situation is that we have a large man-made deer population because we have been feeding them for years,” he said. “It simply came to our notice then. ”

Eric Dassault says his company is willing to pay to sterilize deer so they don’t have to kill animals. One option, he explained, was a contraceptive vaccine. He recommends a product made by a Canadian company that can sterilize deer for up to six years.

“We offer other solutions, but it is too expensive, we are not forced to sterilize deer, but we have to relocate them so our solution is not approved,” Eric Dassault declared.

City representatives in Langue were not available for comment Tuesday.