The City of Ann Arbor, just voted 8-1 in favor of killing 100 deer because some residents allegedly complained about the animals eating their vegetation. Following a “deeply flawed” study, two questionable aerial flyovers that counted 168 deer (6 deer/square mile) — Council members determined that the people want something done now, that there are too many deer, and that non-lethal methods of deer management aren’t worth exploring, according to the Humane Society of Huron Valley.
The Michigan Department of Natural Resources is concerned about this decision, issuing a statement that read, in part “15-20 deer per square mile is a healthy herd.” The deer population in Ann Arbor is six deer per square mile, which is already extremely low. The Detroit News reports that “The culls are to be carried out at night by trained shooters, who will lure deer using bait piles and aim to kill each deer with one shot to the head.” Council Member Lumm said they may spend up to $90,000 in tax-payers money to hire the snipers.
However, now national animal advocacy organizations are stepping in, alleging that the city council acted in violation of the law. The Global Conservation Group said in a statement today that if the council’s plans are carried out, it would violate the “450-foot rule.” According to the Michigan Department of Natural Resources, “No person, including archery and crossbow hunters, may hunt or discharge a firearm, crossbow or bow within 450 feet of an occupied building, house, cabin, or any barn or other building used in a farm operation.” Because Ann Arbor is not a rural area, in fact, it’s Michigan’s fifth-largest city, it would be “absolutely impossible” to abide by that state law, says the conservation group. The organization, along with the Humane Society of Huron Valley and the Political Action Committee for Animals is threatening legal action.
The groups are urging concerned citizens to sign their petition and politely contact the following city officials to express their concerns: