Longueuil deer relocation plans held up by bureaucratic paperwork

Click to play video: 'City council approves Longueuil deer cull' City council approves Longueuil deer cull
The city of Longueuil plans to move 15 deer from Michel-Chartrand Park. – Nov 18, 2020

Not one deer in Longueuil’s Michel-Chartrand Park has been relocated since the city announced five months ago that it would be moving at least 15 deer from the public green space.

Sauvetage Animal Rescue is responsible for the operation of capturing and releasing the deer. General manager Eric Dussault said they are still waiting for the necessary permits.

“Everything is held up by bureaucratic paperwork,” Dussault said.

 READ MORE: Arrest made in threats to Longueuil mayor over plan to cull deer

A certificate of proper animal care, Dussault said, is still needed from the Université de Montréal.

Dussault says he expects to receive the formal certificate soon. Only then, Dussault says, can he get official approval and permits from the Quebec’s Ministry of Forests, Wildlife and Parks.

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“We have been continually sending emails back and forth since this all started,” Dussault said.

Officials have said the deer population is twice what the park can support.

Municipal officials worry overpopulation will threaten the future of the beloved park. They argue action is needed to deal with the overpopulation, to preserve the biodiversity of the green space and to maintain a healthy deer population.

There is also an increased risk of traffic accidents near the park and a heightened risk of Lyme disease transmission, according to authorities.

READ MORE: Animal rescue group offers to relocate Longueuil deer to prevent cull

Once provincial approval is given, Dussault says the city deer will be brought to local zoos. Originally, three shelters signed on to take in the animals but now only two remain, Familizoo and Miller zoo.

Eagerly awaiting news, managers at Miller Zoo say they have been left in the dark.

“We have expressed an interest in welcoming these deer to our facility,” spokesperson Lloyd Miller said.

“However, since that time, we have not received any news regarding further operations.”

Dussault says he should have complete authority to begin trapping the animals for transport by March.

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Dussault stresses the importance of getting the operation done quickly as breeding season begins in mid-March.

READ MORE: Longueuil mayor threatened after deer cull announced, police say

The city of Longueuil went as far as to say in a statement that it is “no longer responsible” for the operation.

Global News reached out to the Quebec’s Ministry of Forests, Wildlife and Parks for comment and has yet to hear back.

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