The right to own private property is an inviolable guarantee in our Constitution. It is also protected by our local laws, which prohibit trespassing and vandalism.
If the epidemic trespass and vandalism by the uncontrolled urban deer population were being committed by marauding gangs of delinquents or bands of thugs, our property laws would be swiftly enforced. Why should wild animals be afforded greater leniency and fewer consequences than human, property taxpaying citizens?
It is past time for our city governments to apply human intelligence and take decisive action against the invading force that is challenging the American right (a man’s home is his castle) to the sanctity of private property.
Even more critical should be government’s role in protecting the life and limb of its citizenry. Though we insist upon safety town to teach our small children the dangers of darting into traffic, we do nothing to keep the thousands of urban deer from galloping across our city streets, often after dark.
What will it take: The death or maiming of a high- profile individual, of a teen coming home from football, of a 5-year-old on the way to visit grandma or a senior citizen returning from bingo, to draw proper attention to this serious hazard in our community?
Nationally, there are 1.6 million crashes per year involving deer; 200 people die and tens of thousands are injured. The average deer/car crash causes $3,100 in automobile damage. The urban deer population, unchecked, is growing exponentially, causing ever-increasing risk for human harm.
Conversely, as one deer activist wrote, “Accidents end in pain and death for 10 percent of the deer.” How, then, can it be acceptable to those who love deer to even want them as urban dwellers, where the automobile is their ever-present enemy? The city is not a humane or proper habitat for large, wild animals.
Deer, though beautiful creatures, are also often infested with ticks, the vector in the transmission of Lyme disease, a debilitating and difficult-to-treat infectious disease.
Deer daily shed these ticks with which children, gardeners, backyard enthusiasts and their domesticated pets can come into contact. An exploding urban deer population only increases the risk of disease to humans.
We must prioritize human welfare. The geometrically growing urban herds will not simply go away. The natural life/death cycle is broken in the city, where there are no natural predators and where conscientious homeowners annually plant fresh landscaping for the deer to devour. The herds will only continue to multiply.
Our city governments must act now to remedy this identified and documented risk to human life and property. Continuing to ignore it is negligence.