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Judge Dismisses Suit To Halt Deer Cull; No Restraining Order Granted

The sharpshooter program is expected to begin soon in Southold, according to officials.

Despite efforts of an animal advocacy group to halt the proposed deer cull in Southold, a judge dismissed a lawsuit that would have put the brakes on the program on Wednesday.

Bridgehampton resident Wendy Chamberlin, of the Wildlife Preservation Coalition, vowed on Feb. 12 at a town board meeting to pursue legal action after the Southold Town board voted unanimously to designate $25,000 toward the deer cull, which is being shepherded by the United States Department of Agriculture's Wildlife Services division and the Long Island Farm Bureau.

Chamberlin confirmed last week that the papers had been filed and the litigation had commenced, as well as the temporary restraining order.

Chamberlin was proactive in protesting the deer cull in East Hampton; the East Hampton cull was called off for this year after anoutpouring of opposition and looming litigation.

According to Southold Town Supervisor Scott Russell on Wednesday, "The judge dismissed the suit. The restraining order was not granted."

However, others are incensed about the cull and have promised to continue fighting. In a comment to Patch, Rose Kay said the Animal Welfare Institute put USDA "on notice" Friday, saying that the organization plans to take legal action regarding "serious violations of the National Environmental Policy Act. This isn't over yet," she wrote.

The issue has sharply divided the community, with scores of residents packing previous public hearings to cry out for the sharpshooter program, describing how their lives had been severely impacted by tick born diseases and car accidents caused by deer. Panels of experts also detailed the toll the burgeoning deer population has had on the local environment.

What do you think about the deer cull? Share your thoughts in the comments section.
Deborah Klughers March 05, 2014 at 11:12 AM
TO PS- If the process were followed- there would have been a draft EIS under SEQRA - followed by a final- this would have included opportunity for public participation, with full transparency, and the results would be public information. There are federal laws that were not followed either. Ever hear of NEPA? What gives the LIFB the right to undertake this experiment without following state and federal law?
Concerned March 05, 2014 at 12:26 PM
The deer herd populations are all estimates based on the number of deer found in sample square mile. That sampling is done statistically and then extrapolated to get to the 30,000 estimate. I do not work the DEC or LiFB but only a local resident. As for the mice that are the source of the Lyme diseased ticks, the owls, foxes and other predators are doing a great job culling the mice population.
Deborah Klughers March 05, 2014 at 12:55 PM
The mice are the reservoir host- meaning the organism that cause Lyme disease(spirochetal bacteria) is in the mouse. The tick (the vector species) drinks the blood of the mouse and ingests the bacteria - then it hitches a ride on a deer- owl- bird-dog... and when it bites YOU - you can become infected with the disease. If the mice were culled- perhaps we could reduce the infection rate for Lyme disease. Another approach is reducing ticks. I don't agree with IJ's "spray everything" approach (see above) because of the collateral environmental damage it would cause, but a very good way to reduce Lyme infected ticks is by using the Daminex tick tubes- check it out...http://www.ticktubes.com/works.html

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