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Friday, March 06, 2009

Rubbers for Bambi

Millburn, New Jersey, like many so many suburban towns, has a deer problem: they are overrunning the place and the debate over what to do about it is rancorous. Obviously, the cheapest and most effective solution is to ventilate the critters but there are those, it shouldn't surprise, who are aghast at blasting Bambi to kingdom come. They are proposing contraceptives, instead. Alas, there is a problem with that: the deer are not cooperating.
Contraceptives can only be effective in small, fenced-in areas where deer can be controlled, not places like the 3.4-square-mile Reservation, said Larry Katz, director of Rutgers Cooperative Extension. The cost per deer is also higher than using sharpshooters, he said.


Animal rights activists argue hunting is not a permanent solution because it’s used year after year. There’s a resistance to trying things like contraceptives, which could provide a permanent solution, said Janine Motta, a spokeswoman for the New Jersey Animal Rights Alliance.

“If as much energy and resources was put into making birth control work, we would be using that, but that interest isn’t there,” Ms. Motta said.
Right you are, Ms. Motta and the key to making this work is awareness and availability: counseling centers and condom machines strategically placed in forest locales, where young does and bucks can obtain contraception in a private and warmly supportive environment. Already successfully deployed in other locations where creatures roam and procreate with abandon, i.e. our nation's public high schools, birth control is the only humane and sustainable solution for those differently-hooved.

(A tip o' the hat to Vanished Child of Eve.)

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