The Ann Arbor deer cull continues for now, in spite of two attempts to stop it.
The drama over Ann Arbor, Michigan’s controversial urban deer cull continues as protesters have filed a second lawsuit in an attempt to stop the cull.
The second lawsuit comes almost a month after the first and a little more than a week after the city abruptly shut down the cull in 10 of the city’s parks. But protestors are still working to stop the work of USDA sharpshooters in the remaining 14 parks on the list.
The second lawsuit was filed in circuit court by Sally Daniels of Ann Arbor and is now in the hands of Judge Timothy Connors, who already denied a restraining order request earlier this week by Daniels in an attempt to stop the cull.
MLive reports that a hearing Thursday morning is set on the manner where a preliminary injunction will be sought. The complaint filed by Daniels heavily criticizes the city’s decision to hold the cull. “The city’s deer cull is impairing and destroying the natural resources of this state and will continue to do so unless enjoined by this court,” the complaint said.
This new lawsuit is claiming that the cull falls outside the legal dates of Michigan’s deer hunting seasons. They also claim the permit issued for the DNR is invalid because it can only be issued in instances where deer are a safety concern for car/vehicle collisions, or causing damage to property, specifically crops or feed. The lawsuit claims the DNR cannot prove crop damage is being done by Ann Arbor deer.
They are also arguing against the use of bait and silencers in the cull. Mlive reports the city plans to make an response later, but will continue to support the cull, as will the Michigan DNR apparently.
“Based on information provided by the city of Ann Arbor, the DNR Wildlife Division and Law Enforcement Division have concluded that a permit for an out-of-season, mid-winter cull for white-tailed deer is justified,” DNR wildlife biologist Kristen Bissel wrote in a letter to the city of Ann Arbor earlier this month.
She also noted how such damage control permits are only issued after a DNR investigation into complaints of deer damage.
The news of the second lawsuit comes a day after people opposed to the cull became upset over the discovery of a dead, torn-up deer on a golf course near one of the cull sites. While some residents blamed the dead animal on the cull, the city seems to believe its a coincidence.
“The deer carcass that was found at Leslie Park Golf Course was not related to any cull activities,” Ann Arbor’s communications director, Lisa Wondrash told Mlive.
That particular discovery is still under investigation by the DNR and Humane Society. The USDA didn’t comment on the issue.
Meanwhile, the first lawsuit made prior to the start of the cull is still playing out in Detroit in U.S. District Court. A federal judge denied the group, Ann Arbor Residents for Public Safety’s request for a temporary halt to the cull.
With over a month left before the cull officially ends on March 1, the controversy in Ann Arbor will likely continue for the time being.