Ann Arbor: Stop the Killing of Hundreds of Deer!
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Ann Arbor residents want to know that their tax dollars are being put towards programs that have their best interests at heart. For this reason, we are petitioning the City of Ann Arbor to stop the killing of 350 deer this Winter and look to non-lethal options to manage the deer population.
In a recent survey sent out by the City of Ann Arbor, 70% of city residents reported that the amount of "deer damage" to their property was "acceptable," yet the city of Ann Arbor plans to hire sharpshooters to bait and kill female does in city parks, on University of Michigan property, and in residential yards and neighborhoods.
The cost of the program is escalating at a time when the City has underfunded priorities that affect most residents such as crosswalk safety, bicycle safety, road maintenance, affordable housing, traffic management, and future contamination of the City water supply by the Gelman plume. The City of Ann Arbor has budgeted over $500,000 for the deer cull program.
The purported reasoning behind the City's decision is that there has been an increase in deer-vehicle collisions, the possibility of Lyme and Chronic Wasting Diseases, and damage to native plants. Data on an increase in deer-vehicle collisions neither correlate with the amount deer carcasses retrieved by the city nor with the number of law enforcement investigations on accidents. The prevalence of Lyme and Chronic Wasting Diseases is not present in Ann Arbor nor Washtenaw County. Also, damage to native plants can be managed in many non-lethal ways.
The City of Ann Arbor has not attempted to use non-lethal strategies like fencing, deer netting, and signage for deer crossing, all of which are more ethical and economical. Last year, the city sterilized 60 deer to reduce deer population size, however this was done in conjunction with the killing of 160 deer, making it clear that sterilization was not an alternative but rather an additional strategy to eliminate as many deer as possible.
Furthermore, the City has chosen to jeopardize public safety by getting approval from the DNR to shoot deer from residential yards and in residential neighborhoods. The City has also been unable to keep students and residents out of city parks during shooting hours.
How is the City going to ensure public safety when the City refuses to identify the private parcels where shooting will occur?
How will people know to avoid walking or driving through neighborhoods where shooting will be taking place?
Under what authority does the city justify the spending of public funds to kill deer on private property?
The City claims that public safety is its number one priority, yet it places “privacy” rights of individual property owners above public safety and the public’s right to know where our tax dollars are being spent.
The City of New York has launched a public campaign encouraging residents to learn to live with wildlife (and offering resources to help), and referring to urban wildlife as residents of New York. Both Jackson and Rochester Hills, Michigan have stopped deer culling in their cities due to its ineffectiveness and negative public opinion. Let’s be like those cities and eliminate the cull from Ann Arbor.
Please sign this petition to let Mayor Christopher Taylor and the Ann Arbor City Council that you do not support the killing of 350 deer!
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