U.S. Humane Society protests Goucher's holiday deer kill
Goucher College continues to receive both protest and praise about its decision to thin by about 50 the herd of deer that roam its leafy Towson campus. Read our original story here.
Recently, the U.S. Human Society weighed in with a letter to President Sanford J. Ungar (download it), followed by one to the head of Goucher's Board of Trustees (reprinted below). Kristen Keener, the liberal arts college's spokeswoman, said the deer kill -- to be carried out over the holiday break by state-licensed bowmen -- is still on.
Pleasure hunters need not apply, however, said Keener, who recently received a personal campus visit from "a couple of guys in camo who asked if they could participate." They were turned away.
"It's not something where you can pay a fee and bag a buck," Keener said.
The college is remaining mum on when the actual hunt will take place. "It's not something they're announcing for fear that protesters will come," Keener said. "They really do want to keep this on the down-low so that nobody would would be potentially put in any harm's way."
And now, the text of the Humane Society letter -->
December 14, 2007
John M. Bond, Board of Trustees, Goucher College
C/O The Columbia Bank
7168 Columbia Gateway Drive
Columbia, MD 21046
Dear Mr. Bond,
It is most regrettable that I need to contact you in your capacity as a Trustee of Goucher College about the apparently imminent proposed slaughter of deer with bow and arrow at the college. This has become very controversial, as does the slaughter of any wild animals that are acclimated to people.
We at The Humane Society of the United States have sent a letter to the president of the college offering to meet and help develop a non-lethal deer management plan on a humane basis. Unfortunately, the concerns of many Goucher students and advisors and our offers of help and consultation were summarily dismissed without serious consideration. Indeed, at the meeting President Unger [sic] had with students, he was reportedly explosive, and he simply dismissed the very real concerns the students had regarding the pain and suffering these animals would be forced to endure, resorting instead to threats to impose surcharges on the students’ tuition if humane alternatives were adopted.
In fact, bow hunting at its very best, results in extreme suffering and wounding. Many deer are forced to die over long periods of time from loss of blood caused by open wounds created by arrows. We urge you and the other Trustees at Goucher Collge to take immediate action to stop the killing of these animals and work with the local community and The Humane Society of the United States to develop a more humane and compassionate approach to living with the deer at Goucher College. A respected institution like Goucher College should demonstrate compassion and humane treatment to its wildlife and consideration of empathic and caring responses of its students. Rushing to kill these deer with bow and arrow is an affront to those values.
John W. Grandy, Ph.D.
Senior Vice President
Wildlife and Habitat Program