2014-03-27 / Letters to the Editor

10 reasons why a deer cull shouldn’t be done

In response to the announced delay of the deer-culling project on Block Isyear land, here are 10 reasons why the project will never happen:

1. Deer culling is based on outdated science.

2. New studies show reducing or eradicating deer does not reduce or eradicate the spread of Lyme disease, actually just the opposite.

3. Evidence indicates deer are dead-end hosts for the blacklegged tick carrying the bacterium Borrelia burgdorferi, the agent of Lyme disease, because they are immune and do not pass on the infectious disease.

4. Deer are actually helpful in the reduction of the infectious ticks by their excellent grooming habits, and prove to be actually buffers to humans.

5. Evidence shows culling is ineffective because the adult ticks do not become infected by feeding on deer, and the uninfected ticks actually drop off or are groomed of questing winter ticks in autumn before hunting seasons begin.

6. Eliminating deer will only increase and exasperate hot spots for the adult ticks who feed on deer, because they will find other hosts that are not immune to the bacterium, humans being one of them.

7. The white-footed mouse and small mammals are the primary host and infected carriers of the Borrelia burgdorferi; they have better access and closer proximity to our homes and pets.

8. There is an explosion in numbers of white-footed mice because of the decline and elimination of predators, particularly the red fox; all wild creatures are host or carriers, including birds, domestic animals and pets.

9. There is an unethical morality to shoot defenseless deer that have grown up around the presence of humans and are unaccustomed to fear humans.

10. With education and the facts, not fear, the good residents of Block Island and beyond will reject, in dollars and “sense,” the unethical and senseless war on this beautiful and environmentally important species.

Elisa Conte
Hamilton Avenue

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