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Hastings Trustees, Expert Meet To Discuss Deer Birth Control

Hastings deer are the focus of a Board of Trustees plan to administer birth control.
Hastings deer are the focus of a Board of Trustees plan to administer birth control. Photo Credit: Danny LoPriore

HASTINGS, N.Y. - The Hastings Board of Trustees will continue looking at a plan to control the local deer population using immuncontraception Thursday at a meeting with expert  Dr. Allen Rutberg of Tufts University.

Those interested in volunteering for the program, which will include shooting the deer with tranquilizing darts and vaccinating them with birth control, will meet with Rutberg at 6 p.m. at Village Hall.

Rutberg,  who heads the Center for Animals and Public Policy Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts, will present his report on the viability of a plan to administer birth control to local deer and meet with potential volunteers.

Rutberg will make a presentation at 7 p.m.and give the public an opportunity to ask questions at the meeting.

Since 2010, the village has been considering methods to control the ever-growing deer population, which wreaks havoc on foliage, increases the risk of Lyme disease and leads to dangerous car vs. deer collisions, officials said.

Deer birth control involves a vaccine called PZP, short for porcine zona pellucida, a pig protein that poses no risk to people, animals or the environment, Rutberg told The Daily Voice in an interview in December.

A deer is shot via dart gun to tranquilize it before the vaccine can be injected. The Environmental Protection Agency requires that the deer be tagged so that it can be identified as having been treated. Another tag will state that the meat of the animal should not be consumed by humans.

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