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Birth Control for Deer?

Birth Control for Deer?

A contraceptive vaccine for deer, which lasts for five years, has been developed by researchers in the United States. One of the researchers says it isn’t a comprehensive solution to the problem of growing deer populations, “This alone can’t bring a population down in a reasonable amount of time; it can manage the population that’s there.” (Source: BBC)  Only Maryland and New Jersey have licensed the vaccine so far.  The contraceptive vaccine might also work on squirrels, wild horses, and animals like stray cats and dogs.

One of the main ways large deer populations are controlled is through annual hunts. New Jersey has increased the duration of its deer hunts, and bag limits. They have also tried chemical fertility control, but it is labor-intensive and not practical for very large free-roaming populations.  A study in New Jersey found $13 million in damages were caused by deer overpopulation. Other research has found large deer populations can eat so many plants, there aren’t many left for other animals, so they can’t live. Last year in Maryland, about 99,000 deer taken in the hunt. The total population has been estimated to be about 231,000. About 8,000 died in vehicle accidents last year. A survey of the Maryland public found about 61% were in favor of using hunting as a deer population control. Chronic wasting disease has been found in deer in states near Maryland, such as West Virginia, and Virginia.  In 2005 Ohio deer-car collisions caused an estimated $71 million in damages.

One of the reasons there are so many deer is the removal of natural predators from habitats where deer live. Mountain lions, coyotes, and wolves no longer occupy their once-natural ranges, and are often killed deliberately when they do, or are killed by accidents with vehicles.

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Read more: Nature, Nature & Wildlife, Pets

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11:09AM PDT on May 14, 2013


10:36AM PDT on Apr 28, 2013

Choosing between "pest" and "cholera" I think professional controlled hunting could be the most humane solution .....and then the meat should be used in some way!!.....

4:41AM PST on Jan 19, 2013

Birth control beat shooting, hunting and slaughtering innocents.

9:11AM PDT on Aug 23, 2012

I say, birth control for HUMANS!!!!

12:47PM PDT on Mar 31, 2012

The only problem I see is the one where humans keep stealing the roaming space and food spaces of those deer, and by initiating this population "control", it just means humans get to keep stealing property the deer should be entitled to.

8:10AM PDT on Mar 31, 2012

Oh please waste your research money on something more important...

2:50AM PST on Jan 18, 2012

I would rather see birth control than the cruel slaughter of any animal. People need to give wildlife space to live. Not every inch of land needs to be destroyed for humans.

11:51AM PST on Dec 9, 2011

Thats stupid, go hunting...snakes hunt mice, lions hunt antelope, its perfectly acceptable for humans to hunt deer as long as they use the animal.

5:33AM PST on Dec 9, 2011


3:01AM PST on Dec 9, 2011

Messing with the balance of nature again!

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Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
Care2, Inc., its employees or advertisers.

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Thanks, I worked at a boarding kennel for 10 years and have never heard of this.


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