Oak Bay’s proposed deer cull, with Liz White (Animal Alliance), Kelly Carson (DeerSafe Victoria), and Dave Shishkoff (Friends of Animals) for WOC Nov 28/13

The municipality of Oak Bay has decided to spend $12,500 to kill 25 deer.  Liz White, from the Animal Alliance of Canada, describes what a deer cull looks like (a cage, a suffering animal, a bolt gun to the head, a slit throat to drain the blood) and how cull efforts have failed to reduce deer numbers (but succeeded in horrifying residents) in other BC municipalities.  She, along with Kelly Carson from DeerSafe Victoria, and Dave Shishkoff from the Friends of Animals, describe many and various real solutions to the deer “problem” (aka the “human” problem).  In the final moments, audio from a morning ride in Reverend Al’s van, bringing some food and hope to the city’s outside homeless community.

About Janine Bandcroft

The Winds of Change airs every other Thursday 11-noon from CFUV listener supported radio in Victoria, on the unceded lands of the Coast Salish peoples. You can listen live anytime at cfuv.ca (it's a great station) and if you're able, we'd really appreciate if you contribute (even 5 bucks) to our annual funding drive.
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2 Responses to Oak Bay’s proposed deer cull, with Liz White (Animal Alliance), Kelly Carson (DeerSafe Victoria), and Dave Shishkoff (Friends of Animals) for WOC Nov 28/13

  1. Sherry Adams says:

    Spay Vac has been used in BC. It was used on a private island to control a deer population and privately funded this is why it was allowed, however It is possible for it to be used by municipalities. The fact is that the Ministry is open to any solution municipalities support, if a City would support a pilot project of Spay Vac and have funding and research backing it there is a good chance it can go through. Although Health Canada has not approved it, if it is used in research it could be allowed. Obviously Dave Shishkoff has a personal opinion about it but this should not influence the fact that Spay Vac is a viable option!

  2. Hi Sherry – you may be right…i was injected with SpayVac as a child, and i’ve been holding in those feelings all this time…

    Joking aside, SpayVac raises a lot of questions, which i touch on in this piece. If you’re an advocate of deer, and cultivating respect for them as individuals, as Friends of Animals does, then SpayVac challenges a lot of those values.

    I see discussion of it as a bit wasteful; few involved see it as a viable option in BC (that is to say, it’s very unlikely to be used), so it’s almost a non-issue, but i think the underlying issues deserve consideration. Briefly:

    * why are we trying to control their reproduction? What right have we to do that? This is an important question from a rights and feminist perspective. It also perpetuates an attitude of control and domination over wildlife – quite the opposite of respect.

    * it’s not vegan. It’s made from pig ovaries. No vegan should be advocating this. It’s also a product of vivisection, who knows how many deer and other animals this has been tested on…

    * no long-term studies exist, showing either the potency/efficacy as a ‘control’ method for deer (we don’t know if numbers actually will go down), nor how this impacts the deer and their health (there have actually been issues with deformities and other troubling effects from immuno-contraception in deer.)

    * if advocates allow for the controlling of deer reproduction, where does it end? Do we just start injecting all wildlife with Spay-Vac variants, and become ‘gods’ of wildlife, controlling all their numbers? Again, this ties into attitudes of domination.

    * it costs upwards of $1000 per deer, and the deer must be trapped (clover traps most common, which is an awful experience for them).

    I don’t know if these are all ‘personal’ arguments, hopefully they’re legitimate concerns.

    Thanks, Sherry, for the info.. The island it was used on was a tiny island, not Vancouver Island, a very different situation. Generally speaking, however, it’s not a realistic option (besides the harmful considerations.)

    Regardless of your position on SpayVac, i hope all concerned for the deer have participated in our ACTION to flood Oak Bay Council’s inboxes, check it out here:


    Thanks for doing a show on deer on Winds of Change, Janine!

    Dave Shishkoff
    Canadian Correspondent
    Friends of Animals

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