Contact: Edita Birnkrant, NY Director
Phone: 212.247.8120

New York- Westchester County’s intention to turn 850 acres of parkland over to bow-and-arrow violence on November 7th should not prevail. With Rockland County taking steps to follow this lead, Friends of Animals president Priscilla Feral stated, “Deer are not causing real problems to the people of New York, but violence is.”

Bowhunters were given the green light in Westchester to invade Muscoot Farm Park and Lasdon Park, where hunting was formerly prohibited, by a “task force” comprised of pro-hunting organizations and agencies, including the president of the Westchester Bow Hunter’s Association, which concluded that deer are “overpopulated” and to blame for forest damage.

Feral explains, “Hunting has been on the decline for many years, so each year, hunters and the agencies which license hunting in exchange for a revenue flow scramble to excuse their killing to the public, and usually their claims involve benefits to the humans at the expense of other free-living animals’ lives.”

Hunting changes the way deer naturally evolve and can cause deer populations to increase. Nature itself ensures that the deer population is limited by available food, territory, and winter weather conditions, which restrict both food and range. Both the reproductive rate and the survival rate of deer will then decrease to suit the environment, creating a natural balance.

Rockland County legislators have now seized upon Westchester’s destructive precedent by planning to form a bogus task force of their own with the hopes of turning Rockland County parkland into deer-killing fields. Rockland County Legislator Gerold Bierker introduced the bowhunting legislation that aims to “offer hunters a local opportunity to enjoy their sport, as well as control the burgeoning deer population.”

Friends of Animals’ members and supporters in New York and internationally condemn hunting for what it is: an egregious assault on nature, on ecosystems and free-living animals by the very species whose population truly is out of control. Too often, we fail to acknowledge how our reckless property development directly impacts the situation of deer and other free-living animals. Maiming and killing animals is not the answer; nor should it be considered sport.

“FoA calls on the Westchester and Rockland County communities to demand an end to the slaughter of deer in their parklands before it happens,” says Priscilla Feral.