Another planned deer cull in Ann Arbor continues to generate controversy. Last winter, 63 animals were killed in an effort to thin the herd in the city. This year, city council has authorized the killing of up to 100 more animals and the sterilization of up to 60 female deer. That plan was approved on a 9-2 vote. David Fair’s guest on this week’s edition of WEMU’s "Issues of the Environment" is Mayor Christopher Taylor, who voted against the cull.
* Presently in Ann Arbor, there are few issues more divisive and contentious than the deer cull. Last winter’s cull 63 deer were safely killed by sharpshooters in city’s parks and natural areas.
* Those who favor the cull say the deer are overpopulating the city, which diminishes the value of natural areas, native flora and fauna, and is unhealthy for the deer. In addition, they point out that the first cases of Lyme disease were confirmed in the county this year, and deer-related traffic issues have increased with population.
* The opposition, primarily the Humane Society of the United States and the HSHV to a lesser degree, feel that hunting deer is inhumane, especially in natural areas and parks. In addition, there are people living in areas near the culls that don't like the idea of firearms in the city limits.
* From the start, Ann Arbor Mayor Christopher Taylor has maintained a position of opposition to the cull, and this year only Chip Smith, D-5th Ward, voted against it with him. This year, the city has chosen to spend $153,940 contract with White Buffalo Inc. to kill up to 100 deer in parks and nature areas and to dart and sterilize up to 60 female deer in neighborhoods where sharpshooting cannot occur.