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New Legislation May Eventually End Ann Arbor's Deer Sterilization Program

Apr 19, 2018

White-tailed deer
Credit Wikipedia Media Commons / wikipedia.org

Sterilization is one of methods the City of Ann Arbor uses to help control the urban deer population. That could change.  The Michigan House of Representatives has approved a bill that could impact the city's deer management program.  


The bill would prohibit the Michigan Department of Natural Resources from issuing more sterilization permits until April 1st, 2022.  However, the measure would allow Ann Arbor to continue its sterilization program until 2020.  That’s when the DNR permit allowing the practice is to expire.  

City councilman Chuck Warpehoski says if the measure were to become law, some may propose using archers as an alternative to sterilization.   

"My concern about that is the chance that a deer would not be killed immediately--though it would be wounded--and would need to be tracked through private property increases significantly.  And, so, I don't think that that's an appropriate technique through a dense area."

Ann Arbor is the only community in the state to have a sterilization permit granted by the DNR.  The bill was introduced after residents in the Upper Peninsula complained that Ann Arbor should not be altering the natural reproduction cycles of animals. 

It now goes to the Senate for consideration.

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— Jorge Avellan is a reporter for 89.1 WEMU News. Contact him at 734.487.3363 or email him javellan@emich.edu