Does Deer Killing Have a Positive Impact on Other Wildlife Species?

This is the 13th in our series analyzing Carrboro’s Energy and Climate Protection Task Force’s Recommended Deer Cull.

Assertion 13: “Culling deer herds is an emotional issue, despite clear science that shows deer herd management results in a healthier deer population, produces a more intact forest ecosystem, and has a positive impact on other wildlife species.” [page 43]

People who advocate for violence, whether it is violence against humans, as in war or the death penalty, or violence against non-human animals, as in hunting, typically present their position as scientific, while dismissing people who advocate for peace, justice, and non-violence as “emotional.”

As we have already established, the Task Force has presented no scientific evidence that deer killing results in a healthier deer population or produces a more intact forest system.

But what of this new assertion that has been slipped in to the recommendation? Does deer killing have a positive impact on other wildlife species?

Again, the Task Force provides no scientific evidence that killing deer has a positive impact on other wildlife species, nor does it even specify what these other species are.

But neither does it give us any examples where violent human interference has ever had a positive impact on species diversity.

According to an article by Peter Muller in Animals in Print, “The activity of human hunting is not and never has been a sustainable, mutually beneficial, predator, prey relationship. Human hunting techniques, even the most primitive ones, are far too efficient to meet the conditions required of a natural predator-prey relationship. In modern times, with new technology, the efficiency becomes totally lopsided so as to cause instant habitat degeneration. Add to this the conscious mismanagement of habitat to further degrade and obviate all natural corrective measures.

“Using techniques such as sex-ratio distortion, habitat manipulation, the removal of natural predators and the introduction of exotic game species destroys biodiversity. The goal is to maximize the number of targets for human hunting, thereby destroying the naturally evolved ecosystems and putting them at the brink of total collapse.

“The number of animals of game species (native and exotic) is maximized at the expense of all others. The naturally evolved mechanisms that insure biodiversity are short-circuited.

“The only way that these ecosystems can recover is to prohibit human hunting and all other forms of non-sustainable consumptive uses of these animals. We should allow for the unfettered reintroduction and re-immigration of predators (which is occurring naturally). Stop ‘managing’ the environment of those areas. When it comes to managing the environment, our knowledge is inadequate to do an even passable job. Even given an ethically sound motivation, which the state agencies now lack, we simply don’t know enough to do a better job than nature.

“Rather than playing God, we’re acting more like the three stooges, when it comes to managing ecosystems. For the sake of life on earth, we must not allow the hunting and gun-manufacturing lobbies to continue to dictate wildlife management policies.”


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