Deer overpopulation raises safety concerns in Saint John neighbourhood
Residents of a Saint John neighbourhood are raising safety concerns related to the overpopulation of deer in their community.
Coun. John MacKenzie is searching for a solution to Millidgeville’s unwelcomed deer population, which he says seems to be getting worse every year.
“There are a couple people who have called me and now have Lyme disease because of ticks off the deer,” says MacKenzie.
“Their mums are there and they’re just in the yard, giving birth in the yard practically, and the ticks are really bad,” says resident Anne Marie Cooper.
Meanwhile, resident Virginia Hill says she has been in two collisions involving deer.
“You don’t know when it jumps in front of your car, even if you keep the speed low, you get in trouble anyways,” says Hill.
Saint John Deputy Mayor Shirley McAlary says other municipalities have allowed homeowners to deal with nuisance deer by using a bow and arrow, but she disagrees with that solution, saying it’s both cruel to animals and dangerous for residents.
“I myself think it’s a method of cruelty,” says McAlary. “You would not be able to allow that around a community that had housing close together because, you know, that could pose a danger for other citizens.”
McAlary feels council should consider other options, such as a contraceptive vaccine.
Jean Bertin with New Brunswick’s Department of Energy and Resource Development says the United States has been experimenting with contraceptive drugs, but “current scientific research indicates these drugs are less than ideal, in that they are very expensive to administer, and are not very efficient.”
“That’s not my first choice, to have a cull,” says MacKenzie. “It’s certainly not something I would like to see, but I would rather see that than kids getting Lyme disease.”
He says staff is investigating the issue and will report back to council with recommendations.
With files from CTV Atlantic's Mary Cranston