Deer slaughter in Longueuil is making waves

Despite criticism, Longueuil is staying the course regarding its decision to kill some sixty white-tailed deer that live in Michel-Chartrand Park. The mayor, Catherine Fournier, received a threat deemed “serious” which was reported to the Longueuil agglomeration police department (SPAL) on Tuesday.

On Monday, the mayoress of Longueuil announced that around sixty deer from Michel-Chartrand park should be slaughtered because of the threat their excess numbers represent for the balance of ecosystems. Longueuil based its decision on a report from a roundtable made up of environmental experts, local groups and residents of Longueuil. This report concludes “that the only viable option in the short term to obtain sustainable results is to proceed from 2022 to the reduction of the size of the herd by a method of capture and euthanasia in order to reach the support capacity of the park” .

This decision earned Catherine Fournier many criticisms. “Of course there are reactions on social networks, but we were prepared for that,” said his press officer, Camille Desrosiers-Laferrière, on Tuesday.

The mayor, however, received a message considered a “serious threat”, and the SPAL was notified in the early evening Tuesday. No official complaint has yet been filed, said Desrosiers-Laferrière at To have to. “This is the only threatening message received. Everyone else, no matter what their opinion, is cordial, ”she added.

Former mayor Sylvie Parent had received death threats a year ago after her administration decided to slaughter about fifteen deer living in Michel-Chartrand Park. The City had finally given up on slaughtering the animals.

Recurring problem

Veterinarian and president of the Animal Use Ethics Committee at the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine of the University of Montreal, Jean-Pierre Vaillancourt believes that the decision of the City of Longueuil to kill the majority of deer in the park Michel-Chartrand is the right solution in the circumstances.

He stresses, however, that this will not solve the problem in the long run, as animal reproduction and the arrival of new deer may create the conditions for overcrowding. “The crisis must be resolved, but it will also be necessary to sterilize the animals and above all, raise awareness among citizens, so that they do not feed the animals,” he argued on Tuesday.

Lawyer Anne-France Goldwater does not intend to stop there. She said on Tuesday that she was considering going to court to prevent the “slaughter” of deer. The slaughter of deer is a “primitive” and “archaic” gesture, she said in an interview with TVA.

An online petition has also been launched to denounce the decision of the City of Longueuil. As of this writing, she had collected just over 4,200 signatures.

Montreal deer

Sooner or later, Montreal will also have to make a decision. Last March, an expert report recommended the elimination of some forty animals that frequent the Pointe-aux-Prairies nature park. Mayor Valérie Plante, however, rejected the idea of ​​euthanizing deer. On Tuesday, the mayor’s office maintained that the analyzes were continuing and that the new head of large parks on the executive committee, Caroline Bourgeois, would look into the matter. “We are still assessing the issue. […] Solutions are still being studied, ”said Marikym Gaudreault, press secretary in the mayor’s office.

Associate professor in the Department of Biology at Laval University, Jean-Pierre Tremblay emphasizes for his part that the degradation of certain ecosystems, urban sprawl and construction in natural environments have favored the emergence of this type of problem. “We will therefore have to deal with this kind of situation more frequently in the years to come. These animals adapt well to human presence, and some people feed them, which is problematic. “

Mr. Tremblay also believes that it is difficult to consider moving animals, as some people want in Longueuil. In the case of white-tailed deer, for example, populations are already very dense in different regions of Quebec. This large presence of deer in our forests also supports important sport hunting. According to government data on the hunting season, a total of 48,000 deer were slaughtered in the province in 2020.

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