Washington, D.C. (January 8, 2014) – As Christmas trees and charming illuminated
Photo Copyright Jim Robertson
deer decorations sparkled on lawns in the nation’s capital last night the real deer who live in Washington, DC, were being gunned down by the National Park Service in the bitter cold. Last night’s begin of the mass killing of deer was the first of several unannounced deer kills that the NPS plans to conduct in Rock Creek National Park through March 31.
In record-breaking bitter cold temperatures that reached into the single digits with 40 mph wind gusts the National Park Service, in a sneaky attack, last night set up unannounced road blocks around Rock Creek Park and turned its guns on some of the 300 deer who live there.
Although gunshots could not be heard, Park Police acknowledged to passers-by that the killing was taking place. The NPS has announced in the past that silencers would be used by USDA Wildlife Service’s agents on guns so that residents who live near the Park would not be disturbed. It is also possible that archery was used, an unusually cruel method of killing animals.
Unlike last year’s killing, in which the NPS announced in advance on what days the killing would occur, the NPS has now changed tactics. In an attempt to outwit deer supporters, the NPS has announced that it will conduct surprise kills on unannounced nights through March 31.
Last night’s killing was exceptionally unconscionable because it took place during a record-breaking cold spell during which wild animals need to preserve their heat and energy by hunkering down. Hunting the deer during such extreme weather stressed not only the deer but all the other animals who live in the Park.
“The National Park Service’s decision to enter in an endless cycle of killing deer is appalling in terms of its brutality, and it goes against the public’s will, common sense, compassion and science,” says Anja Heister, In Defense of Animals’ Director for the Wild and Free-Habitats Campaign. “The agency kills deer despite its failure to provide proof that it is actually the park’s deer and not exotic plants that interfere with forest regeneration.”
“Urban deer are here to stay, and we need to take responsibility in treating them humanely” adds Heister. “Instead of being so incredibly backward, the NPS should enter the 21st century and use existing nonlethal methods, including fertility control.”
Legal action by a coalition of local Washington D.C. residents and In Defense of Animals against the NPS killing continues, as will negative publicity and protests by local residents for as long as it takes to put a halt to this senseless killing, and for the agency to realize that it had better start to listen to the public, who strongly opposes the killing of deer in our nation’s capital as unacceptable.
Contact: Anja Heister, firstname.lastname@example.org, 406-544-5727
In Defense of Animals is an international animal protection organization located in San Rafael, Calif. dedicated to protecting animals’ rights, welfare, and habitat through education, outreach, and our hands-on rescue facilities in India, Africa, and rural Mississippi.
IN DEFENSE OF ANIMALS – 3010 KERNER BLVD. – SAN RAFAEL, CA 94901 – 415-448-0048