Contraception is safe, effective and humane. Peer reviewed scientific studies on this topic tell a different story than the editorial board’s column. The deer contraceptive PZP is not experimental. Suburban deer populations have been stabilized and reduced over time by 35-50%. In addition, contraception does work in semi-closed systems such as Grand Haven. Grand Haven had to meet many stipulations, geographically and otherwise, before the contraception scientists determined GH could be an implementation site. Wildlife scientists traveled the area and studied our deer. Cities implementing wildlife contraception have experienced positive press nationwide for being smart and forward thinking.
Killing deer triggers reproduction rebound and the migration of new deer. Deer contraception allows the current deer to be placeholders. This prevents not only rebound but the natural migration that occurs when you remove deer. PZP has been used in deer, wild horses, elephants, and bison for years. It is a win-win solution.
It takes courage to educate oneself as the council has done. To disregard a thoughtful approach to this issue, by labeling those who disagree with discharging high-powered weapons in our parks, as “Bambi Lovers” is unproductive and disrespectful. I applaud council for thinking outside the “barrel of a gun” and leading Grand Haven toward solving a social conflict with a safe, effective, humane and long-lasting solution.