Not today, deer
Maryland has become the first state to approve the use of Gonacon, a deer birth control product, but the state’s director of wildlife said Friday he can’t imagine it ever being used in what he termed the open landscape.
“This is the only immuno-contraceptive for deer that has federal approval,” said Paul Peditto, director of the Wildlife and Heritage Service. “It was developed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and is registered with the Environmental Protection Agency…
Peditto said the manpower and expense of applying the birth control chemical will limit its use.
“It will cost up to $1,000 to apply it to a deer,” Peditto said. The deer must first be shot via dart gun to tranquilize it before Gonacon can be injected. EPA requires that the deer be tagged so that it can be identified as having been treated. Another tag will state that the meat of the animal should not be consumed by humans…
Peditto said authority to sedate, inject and tag deer won’t simply be turned over to a home owners association and its maintenance crew. Who btw are the only likely candidates for using this method.
Applicators must jump through several hoops, including registration, testing and association with a licensed veterinarian.
Stephanie Boyles, a wildlife scientist with the Humane Society of the United States, said…“There is a demand for nonlethal options and now that Maryland has stepped forward we believe the DNR will start hearing from those who want to use that option.”
Reading through Maryland newspaper, blogs, Letters to the Editor – locations often infested with religious nutballs and Kool Aid Party foot soldiers – have been hilarious. Some sensible comments here and there about the DNR continuing existing relationships with outfits like Farmers and Hunters Feeding the Hungry. Folks don’t seem to understand this alternative is only that – an alternative for a very limited number of occasions.
And the folks who oppose birth control for everything from animals to insects as being contrary to their God’s Will – should stick their noses somewhere will it will more easily relieve their itching.