Tuesday, 19 February 2013

Deer cull protestors from Ontario not welcome

Kudos to Cranbrook council for rejecting the squeaky wheel aka, Invermere Deer Protection Society (IDPS). The recent decision to approve the cull is a bitter pill to the sometimes violent and vocal animal rights activists that have been drawn to this issue.  The IDPS campaign has morphed from wanting to be involved in local discussions two years ago to the animal rights world bearing down on the Kootenays. Animal Alliance of Canada (AAC) staged a protest on the highway in Cranbrook on Feb 17 2013 waving placards decrying the city’s decision to proceed with a deer cull.  Liz White, a full-time staff member of the Toronto based AAC, was front and center along with Devin Kazakoff president of the IDPS. Ironic that the IDPS has to bring in the AAC to  advocate for the deer that are a threat  to pets and people.  On the AAC webpage she tweets on Feb 17 2013 Animal_Alliance @Animal_Alliance Landed in Cranbrook on a tiny plane. Out now looking for deer traps pic.twitter.com/IDyseTcK.  What reason would they have to look for traps other than to tamper or interfere with the lawfully set traps? For all their pontificating, posturing and thinly veiled threats only five people, two of which don’t live in Cranbrook, showed up to protest; they have no support.
What galls most people, myself included, is that these activists will not accept that domesticated deer present a clear and present danger to people and pets. My experience as a Conservation Officer in the Kootenays, until I retired recently, gives me the background to weigh in on the dangers of domesticated deer. I attended numerous deer/ human/ dog interactions in Kimberley and Cranbrook.  I have seen the cuts and bruises done to dog owners as they tried break up a fight between their dog and a deer.  I have witnessed the desperation in the dog owners eyes as they watched the last bit of life eke out of their pet after a deer stomped it into the ground. I intervened in a deer bearing down on a young girl with her dog on a leash. If I hadn’t drove over the curb and cut the deer off there would have been serious injuries to the dog and likely to the girl. When you add in the damage to landscapes and gardens the situation is compounded by the financial loss to homeowners. The IDPS solution is to chase them out of town with dogs or just leave them alone.  Deer should not be herded with dogs; it’s like pushing water uphill.  Deer will usually bolt right into oncoming traffic resulting in more damage and the death of the deer.
This started back in January 2012 when Colleen Bailey appeared before Kimberley and Invermere councils as the spokesperson for the newly formed group Humane Treatment of Urban Wildlife Committee (HTUW).  Apparently the HTUW had been asleep at the wheel for over a year and a half when councils throughout the region were debating the urban deer issue. At the eleventh hour Colleen wanted all culls delayed so the HTUW can study the issue.  Invermere went ahead with the cull, HTUW stomped their feet and cried foul. Devin Kazakoff president of the IDPS couldn’t get any local lawyers to plead their case in court until he found Rebecca Breder. When you go shopping for an animal rights lawyer Breder  is the gold standard.  It’s ironic that in Ms. Breder’s own words “ animals are neither property nor chattel – as existing law defines them – but sentient beings with the right to life, liberty and well-being”. I would appear that she uses selective passion; ignoring the physical and emotional trauma those owners and their dogs have experienced!
The Invermere Deer Protection Organization was able to convince Shane Suman to launch a Supreme Court injunction on Feb 9 2012 with Rebecca Breder acting as counsel.  Suman is an interesting choice as a petitioner; he has own court troubles with both US and Canada.  The District of Invermere became the lightning rod for animal activists from across North America that view wildlife thru a different lens than most of the residents in the Kootenays. Fast forward to Feb 2013 and the domesticated deer are still a threat both in the spring and fall regardless of where you find them.  The threat is elevated in town where deer have been protected by the bambi syndrome. “We invaded their home” “they were here first” is an escape from reality. Big Game, aka deer, moose elk and predators, do not belong in the city; they never did and never should.  Wildlife in town attract predators, I know I’ve chased many cougars and bears out of schoolyards and back alleys of towns in the Kootenays. 
If you don’t like the cull, hunting, trapping, resource extraction and all other things that are not on your ethical list move from the Kootenays and find like-minded people that protest the things that make your life better. If you choose to stay in the Kootenays and want to live in harmony with nature, that’s quite all right but don’t force your ideology on the rest of us.  To the people that don’t live in these communities, let alone this province or country, fix your own problems before coming to our rescue, we honestly don’t need your input.  To the protestors, petitioners and dozen or so members of the IDPS get over it, move on and ThinkTwice before waving signs and stomping your feet. That only makes you a far greater nuisance than the deer.
Paul Visentin
Kootenay ThinkTwice


  1. Mr. Visentin seems to have a great many fears - fear of people from outside his community and fear of deer! He calls these deer "domesticated" but that is not correct. A definition is this: Domestication (from Latin domesticus) is the process whereby a population of animals or plants is changed at the genetic level through a process of selection, in order to accentuate traits that benefit humans.
    And opposing the argument that the deer were here first by saying they don't belong in big cities is convoluted logic.
    Don't be afraid of people who are looking for alternatives to violence; be afraid of those whose first reflex is to inflict violence.

  2. "PROVIDING A BALANCE TO CURRENT ISSUES" You should consider rephrasing this to "Providing the same illogical, fear-based arguments everyone else on this side always does". You've borrowed from the playbooks of Fox News and the Center for Consumer Freedom; claiming to be something you're not.

    1. Parrot Person, thank you for reply, we appreciate your contribution and perspective.

      Ken Dunsire
      Think Twice