Published: Tuesday, October 19, 2010
VALLEY FORGE — An animal-rights group that opposes the use of hunters to cut the deer population in Valley Forge National Historical Park wants officials to consider using coyotes instead.
The Pennsylvania chapter of Friends of Animals opposes a plan to use sharpshooters to eliminate more than 80 percent of the park's deer in the next four years. Last year, the group filed a lawsuit seeking to stop the hunts.
Now, the group has started a campaign called the Coyote Coexistence Initiative. The group wants park officials to consider encouraging natural predators rather than shooting the deer.
Park officials say the proposal wouldn't work.
Friends of Animals says it will seek an injunction to stop a hunt planned for next month. According the Friends of Animals' Web site, attempts to control coyote populations through trapping and killing have been futile and "an ethically and scientifically sound strategy that focuses on empowering people to respect coyotes" is preferable.
"Education and outreach designed to inform the public about the role of feeding in coyote attacks is an integral part of coexistence programs already in place and those currently being developed," the group's Web site says. "Coyote education campaigns can demonstrate practical ways to avoid unwanted incidents — by, for example, making coyote deterrents using household items." Read More
Let’s see if I can get this straight. The Friends of Animals group would rather have predators chasing and harassing a deer until it finally dies a very slow and painful death than have sharpshooters quickly harvest the deer and use the meat to feed the homeless. With friends like that who needs enemies?? Not only would this be a tremendous waste of resources, but it would also lead to an eventual problem with coyotes as well. With their plan, what happens to the coyotes if and when they would lower the deer population? They either start starving to death or die off from disease. It’s another great example of people with no knowledge or experience dealing with managing natural resources trying to make recommendations that cause more harm than good.