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posted: 12/13/2011 5:00 AM

Deer culling is overkill

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Talk about a literal example of government overkill. The Illinois Department of Natural Resources wants to double down on the number of deer their sharpshooters bait and kill on our open spaces with a false justification that the slaughter is necessary to fight chronic wasting disease. The decision defies logic since not a single deer that their sharpshooter program killed last year in Kane County was found to have CWD.

In fact, many experts believe that deer cutting is counterproductive in fighting CWD and may exacerbate the problem. Some biologists fear that deer with an immunity to the disease are being wiped out since the majority of deer killed are healthy. Also, an alarming number of deer will die in this self-described "experimental" program than would be destroyed by the disease itself.

According to the IDNR, "There is no evidence of significant disease spread, and the number of CWD positive deer identified annually has been down since a peak in 2005-2006." Also, "The overall pattern of the disease distribution and intensity has remained largely unchanged over the past five years."

Yet Illinois wants to continue an expensive sharpshooting culling program that has failed in Wisconsin and been halted in Colorado where the outbreak began in an animal research facility.

Any real hope of stopping CWD is in true scientific research such as the vaccine being developed in Canada. Residents of this state should call for an end to this money-wasting, illogical program that could have severe consequences for the deer population.

Concerned residents should attend the Dundee Township Board meeting at 7 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 15, at 557 Barrington Ave, East Dundee, when killing the deer on our public lands will be discussed.

Billita Jacobsen