Port Stephens Council is set to kill a herd of deer in the Irrawong Swamp area of Raymond Terrace after a planned kill was delayed due to community upset about the killing of the “reindeer” at Christmas.
“Many members of the Raymond Terrace community do not want these deer killed, and consider them beloved residents of the neighbourhood,” Animal Justice Party Newcastle-Hunter Regional Group Leader Darren Brollo said.
“It’s also unclear why Council want to kill them, with different answers being given to different people. If the problem is the potential for car strike, there are many more humane methods to prevent collisions than the temporary, cruel solution of killing this family of deer.”
On Monday, NSW Upper House MP for the Animal Justice Party Mark Pearson sent an urgent letter to Council calling on them to stop the kill.
“Deer are peaceful, quiet creatures and every wild animal, introduced or not, deserves a life free from harm,” Mr Pearson said in his letter.
“Killing wild animals is no longer acceptable to community expectations of humane animal control, and I remind you that areas rich in unique wildlife are excellent tourist attractions. I urge Council to call off their planned killing of these deer, and really listen to what the community wants.”
Mr Pearson outlined multiple humane alternatives to prevent car strikes with deer in his letter, including improved signage, reduced speed limits, the installation of wildlife-friendly fencing, community education, and the humane trapping and transfer of the deer to a sanctuary.
Mr Pearson also asked Council to confirm why they want to kill the deer, when the kill will take place, how much community consultation has occurred, and other options to protect motorists from collisions that have been trialled.
The Animal Justice Party was contacted by several members of the Raymond Terrace community seeking urgent help to stop the killing.
Mr Pearson is available for comment.
Elena Wewer – 0428 444 132