While UWSS has the gear and plan in hand to begin the vaccination process, they failed to consult with First Nations, a requirement of the provincial permit needed to move forward. (Keri Coles/Oak Bay News)

Permit to give B.C. deer birth control on hold until consultation with First Nations

Complexity of consultation will depend on level of First Nations support for the project

A pilot project to give birth control to deer in the Greater Victoria suburb of Oak Bay is on hold while the mayor consults with local First Nations, a delay that could set the project back a whole year.

Working to reduce and stabilize the deer population, Urban Wildlife Stewardship Society (UWSS) signed onto the provincial urban deer cost-share research program with Oak Bay council in 2016. The program funds an innovative research-based project to vaccinate deer with immuno-contraception in order to cut the birth rate.

While UWSS has the gear and plan in hand to begin the vaccination process, they failed to consult with First Nations, a requirement of the provincial permit needed to move forward.

“It was suggested to us in early September that we consult with First Nations which we are extremely happy to do and indicated we would. We didn’t recognize that there was any urgency to it. We weren’t informed that it was a condition of the permit until Monday,” said Kristy Kirkpatrick, president of the UWSS.

On Monday, they began reaching out to local First Nations.

RELATED: Permit delay could put birth control plan on hold for Oak Bay deer

“Consultation needs to be completed before the permit can be issued,” said a spokesperson from the Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development. “The complexity of the consultation with First Nations will depend on the level of support from First Nations for the project.”

Mayor Nils Jensen has now spoken and corresponded with the chiefs of the Songhees, Tsartlip, and Tsawout, and is waiting for calls back from two more. Kirkpatrick said the province requires Oak Bay to consult with five First Nations from the area, as the deer are on traditional lands.

The delay could derail the program until next year. With the first immuno-contraception shots having to be administered before Oct.1, ahead of rutting season, the group has just days to move forward.

“If we do not get the permit immediately and execute, we will not be able to do it this year. We would delay it a full year,” said Dr. Jason Fisher.

“We are cautiously optimistic that we will be out within the next few days, so our fingers are crossed for that. But everything is still in play,” said Kirkpatrick.

RELATED: 10 does down, 10 to go in GPS collar phase of Oak Bay deer plan

RELATED: Experts to capture and collar 20 female deer in Oak Bay starting this month

Immuno-contraception (IC) is a type of vaccine that induces the deer to produce antibodies that prevent fertilization and the formation of an embryo. The IC vaccine has to be administered annually.

The use of immuno-contraceptives to manage urban deer is a new approach for B.C. and this pilot project will inform whether or not this method can be used as an effective management tool.


 

keri.coles@oakbaynews.com

Follow us on Instagram
Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Bamfield Road safety concerns resurface after fatal bus crash

Huu-ay-aht First Nations wants a safe route between Bamfield and Port Alberni

2019 FEDERAL ELECTION: Meet the candidates for the Courtenay-Alberni riding

In an effort to inform the Courtenay-Alberni riding constituents, we have supplied… Continue reading

City of Port Alberni offers support after fatal bus crash

Two University of Victoria students killed after crash en route to Bamfield Marine Sciences Centre

Participants double at Parkinson’s Superwalk in Port Alberni

Second annual event also saw an increase in funds raised

Alberni School District considers three name changes

Neill Elementary, Ucluelet Secondary and school district identified for new names

Federal party leaders address gun violence after weekend shooting near Toronto

One teen was killed and five people injured in the shooting

Scheer makes quick campaign stop in Comox

Conservative leader highlights tax promises early in campaign

Conservatives promise tax cut that they say will address Liberal increases

Scheer says the cut would apply to the lowest income bracket

B.C. VIEWS: Cutting wood waste produces some bleeding

Value-added industry slowly grows as big sawmills close

Fewer trees, higher costs blamed for devastating downturn in B.C. forestry

Some say the high cost of logs is the major cause of the industry’s decline in B.C.

Federal food safety watchdog says batch of baby formula recalled

The agency says it’s conducting a food safety investigation

UVic president offers condolences after two students killed in bus crash

‘We also grieve with those closest to these members of our campus community,’ Cassels says

Coming Home: B.C. fire chief and disaster dog return from hurricane-ravaged Bahamas

The pair spent roughly one week on Great Abaco Island assisting in relief efforts

Most Read