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Kimberley cull to begin February 1

CAROLYN GRANT

A contractor has been chosen and the cull of up to 15 deer in Marysville and 15 in Lower Blarchmont/Chapman Camp will begin on Saturday, February 1 and end by March 15, 2014.

The Urban Deer Committee recommended the cull of deer from neighbourhoods where complaints of aggressive deer had been greatest and Council voted to go ahead last fall.

This week a contractor was chosen and the cull will go ahead beginning Saturday.

The BC Deer Protection Society wrote to Kimberley City Council this week regarding the cull.

The Deer Protection Society was urging Council not to pick the contractor who carried out the cull in Elkford. Elkford's cull was suspended for a week after their contractor violated the terms of the permit by trapping and killing deer in daylight hours.

As it turns out, the City has not chosen the same contractor. Winning with what Mayor Ron McRae called the most competitive bid was Wade Jarvis, a Registered Professional Forester. The cost of culling and processing 30 deer will be under $15,000. The contractor will be provided with training by the Ministry's Wildlife Veterinarian prior to conducting the cull. An experienced mentor will also be provided.

The City is asking residents to contact them through email (info@kimberley.ca) if they would like to have a trap placed in yards in Marysville, Blarchmont or Chapman Camp. However, the City also asks that those interested check with their neighbours first to see if there is an objection to a trap on their property.

As per the permit, no trapping will be permitted during daylight hours. All meat from the cull will be offered to the Kimberley Helping Hands Food Bank and/or Street Angels.

The Urban Deer Committee has always maintained that a cull is only one part of a multi-pronged approach to population management, which includes hazing, management of attractants such as fruit trees and a bylaw prohibiting the feeding of deer.

A hazing trial was conducted in Kimberley last spring and was deemed successful. However, hazing is not permitted under the B.C. Wildlife Act and McRae says there has been no word from the province on when such a change may occur.

"I would speculate that the province won't change the Act but will allow hazing to be permitted under special circumstances," McRae said. "In any event, it can't be the only approach."

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