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May 5, 2009

The HSUS Urges Navy to Halt Deer Culls at Annapolis Naval Station

Group Offers to Help Develop Humane Management Plan

The Humane Society of the United States

The Humane Society of the United States urged the U.S. Navy to call off a series of deer culls at Naval Support Activity in Annapolis, Md.

The HSUS' appeal to the U.S. Navy to halt the cull and to explore all available non-lethal alternatives was prompted by residents in adjacent communities. Last week, several concerned citizens contacted the station's Commanding Officer, Captain Robert W. Winsor, Jr., and urged him to spare the deer. Sadly, their pleas did not result in an end to the planned cull. HSUS representatives have also reached out to Navy personnel.

"The Humane Society of the United States understands concerns about the impact of deer on the naval property, but the humane treatment of these animals, as well as the potential impact on adjacent property owners who enjoy wildlife, must also be considered by the Navy," said Stephanie Boyles, wildlife scientist for The HSUS. "We urge the Navy to reconsider any future plans to conduct deer culls at the Naval Station and work with us to develop a humane management program."

If deer population reduction at the Naval Station is deemed necessary, The HSUS believes that the use of reproductive control methods, such as surgical sterilization and immunocontraception, would be viable at the site. The city of Highland Park, Ill., successfully sterilized does to maintain deer populations at target densities. Also, published and forthcoming studies have demonstrated that immunocontraceptive Porcine Zona Pellucida can reduce deer populations by 10 to 11 percent per year.

The HSUS urges the Navy to place an immediate moratorium on deer culls at the base and accept the group's offer to help implement an effective, humane management plan. 

For more information on humanely solving problems with deer, visit humanesociety.org/wildneighbors.

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The Humane Society of the United States is the nation's largest animal protection organization — backed by 11 million Americans, or one of every 28. For more than a half-century, The HSUS has been fighting for the protection of all animals through advocacy, education and hands-on programs. Celebrating animals and confronting cruelty — On the web at humanesociety.org. 

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