The fate of the Longueuil deer population in Michel-Chartrand park is up in the air after the long-awaited relocation plan was rejected.
The relocation plan put forth by Sauvetage Animal Rescue, the company the city made responsible for the operation of capturing and releasing the deer, was nixed by a veterinary ethics committee.
“It was so obvious, we knew right away,” said Jean-Pierre Vaillancourt, president of the veterinarian ethics committee at the Université de Montreal.
Vaillancourt said the relocation plan was riddled with issues and raised numerous red flags.
The veterinarian ethics committee has resent a detailed five-page document outlining the issues with the plan.
It also provided 60 questions and comments about certain procedures that needed to be improved.
“It needs to be completely rewritten but relocation is still possible,” Vaillancourt said.
Everything from the way the animals were corralled to the mode of transportation was concerning and endangered the animals, the ethics committee said.
“Even the dart they planned to use were known to be dangerous for the animal,” Vaillancourt said.
The company’s inexperience was also a main point in the decision with such a “complex and difficult” operation, Vaillancourt said.
“When you look at what was proposed. We’re not just talking stress, we’re talking major suffering —
very high risk of mortality for the majority of these animals,” Vaillancourt said.
“It was really not a close call.”
Sauvetage Animal Rescue is expected to submit another proposal next week.
A certificate of proper animal care is the first step needed for the private company to get approval.
Only then can it get official approval and permits from Quebec’s Ministry of Forests, Wildlife and Parks.
“This has been a problem for the last 10 years,” Vaillancourt said.
“This is not a crisis but it is definitely problematic.”
Without passing judgment, Vaillancourt said there are only three viable ways to deal with the increasing deer population: an organized cull where the meat is harvested, a controlled poisoning of the deer and, lastly, relocation.
Moving the deer is the option he said was the least successful and could potentially put unnecessary stress on the animal, adding that it would have the most hurdles and strenuous approval process.
Global News reached out to the City of Longueuil and has not yet heard back.