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Hunt/FishNews Clash

RUBBERS FOR REINDEER: New York Village Considers Administering Birth Control to Deer

Screen Shot 2013-07-10 at 10.05.03 AMDoug Giles- Or they could just shoot them.  That would equal money and meat for the local New Yorkers.

Hastings-on-Hudson, a densely populated suburb beside New York’s Hudson River, is confronting a problem that many of the state’s suburban towns now face. Only miles outside New York City proper, Hastings is inundated with deer. For a long time the town considered various methods for removing the animals, and it seems they may have found a solution in contraception.

According to the New York Times, Mayor Peter Swiderski ran on a campaign of solving the deer crisis when he sought the mayoral seat. Hastings officials discussed bringing in hunters, but ultimately decided that it was too dangerous for the packed suburb. Luring the animals with bait and then administering a fatal shot from a captive bolt pistol was also discussed, but eventually scrapped due to public outrage. Now, Swiderski thinks he might have found a possible solution in immunocontraception. The method involves exposing the animals to a contraceptive vaccine derived from pigs that will prevent pregnancies in does.

“Deer have entered our backyards and essentially become unruly guests,” said Dr. Allen Rutberg, director of the Tufts University Center for Animals and Public Policy. “We are bound by suburban rules in dealing with them, and violence is not how we deal with neighbors we don’t like.”

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