Save 120 Deer from Being Killed by Nara Prefecture, Japan
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The Nara Prefecture in Japan has announced that it will be trapping and killing 120 deer by yearend, due to pressure from the agricultural association's complaints of crop damage. There has been much national protest, but the ordinance has passed anyway. There has been little media report outside the prefecture.
To put things in context, Nara Prefecture is nearly synonymous with deer. It is known almost exclusively for Nara Park, a massive tourist destination and the grounds for Todaiji, Kofukuji, Kasuga Shine (all three are UNESCO world Heritage Sites which receive assistance from the World Heritage Fund), and the free-roaming deer. In fact, tourists with children most certainly come to Nara mainly to see and feed the deer. The deer have been considered sacred for millennia, and are inseparable from the Buddhist and Shinto culture for which these sites are important enough to be recognized by UNESCO. Everywhere you turn your eyes within the prefecture, all you see is pictures of deer and cute deer characters and deer parapheneria. Even the prefecture's own website is peppered with cute deer characters. Residents no doubt benefit from the revenue generated by deer.
And now, they are to trap and kill 120 deer in response to farm damage. I understand that farmers must surely have their grievances, but this solution the prefecture has taken is inhumane and disgraceful.
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