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Longueuil Is Moving Forward (Again) With A Controversial Plan To Cull Deer In A Local Park

An animals rights group has filed a lawsuit to stop it.

Staff Writer
A white-tailed deer stands in an Ontario backyard.

A white-tailed deer stands in an Ontario backyard.

If you're one of the 108-plus deer in Longueuil's Parc Michel-Chartrand, you may be confused about your future – and that’s understandable. The city has been going back and forth on its plans to cull the deer due to "worrisome" levels of overpopulation. Most recently, Longueuil has announced that it intends to move forward with the cull this coming fall.

This uncertainty is yearslong, with a popular petition against the culling dating back to 2020. A lawsuit was even filed by Montreal lawyer Anne-France Goldwater on behalf of the organization Sauvetage Animal Rescue to pressure officials to relocate the animals elsewhere in Quebec instead.

The city's announcement Wednesday only briefly acknowledged the lawsuit, without clearly explaining how it would affect the ongoing plans for this fall.

The plan was initially launched under former mayor Sylvie Parent, who faced outrage from Longueuil residents. After Parent's term ended, then-newly-elected mayor Catherine Fournier also received a "serious threat" after approving the culling plans.

So, how many deer is the park supposed to have, anyway? According to Fournier, Parc Michel-Chartrand can only support between 10 to 15 deer — approximately 10% of the current population.

Local city councillor Jonathan Tabarah claims that without the planned population control, Longueuil's attempt to "regenerate the urban forest and restore [its] ecological balance" will fail.

He also cited other possible dangers posed by the deer, such as increases in the tick population and road accidents.

The city said Wednesday it is moving forward with an application for a permit to allow controlled deer hunting without the use of firearms. Longueuil also plans to donate collected deer meat to local food banks to minimize waste.

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