Hastings Mayor Reveals Deer Control Plan, Deer Birth Control August 27, 2010 New York

In a public board of trustees meeting Tuesday, Hastings Mayor Peter Swiderski unveiled his basic implementation plan for using immunocontraception—birth control—to combat the village's burgeoning population of white-tail deer.

The new plan, which the mayor hopes to initiate in the fall, 2011, entails vaccinating does—female deer—with small darts filled with contraceptive drug PZP. PZP is believed to last two years, so the process would have to be repeated every two hunting seasons for an indefinite period of time.

"Studies have shown deer populations to decrease by 50 percent in similar communities within four or five years," Swiderski said.

The cost, he said, would be significant in the beginning—with the village relying on trained experts to administer the vaccinations—but would "taper off" after the first few years.

"The annual cost after the fourth year should not exceed $5,000, which is nothing for the village," Swiderski said. 

"Because PZP is still in the trial phase, Hastings will become part of a study," he said. "It will be conducted by Dr. Allen Rutberg of Tufts University."

 the mayor and board's decision "flew in the face" of the Greenburgh Deer Committee—a group of locals formed in 2006—which put together a nearly 200-page report ultimately favoring lethal options to immunocontraception. 

Barbara Stagno, a Dobbs Ferry resident who works for California-based animal rights organization In Defense of Animals, has volunteered to spearhead the fundraising effort for the project.

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