Event facts: Join Friends of Animals and CARE on Saturday, 1 August and Saturday, 22 August 2009, 2:30-5:30 p.m. at Valley Forge Park, Pennsylvania, lower Welcome Center Parking Lot (common 1st A area), to oppose a plan to massacre the deer. The Park plans to kill 80% of them. We say: Let The Deer Be. For more about our message, click below to read the full alert.

30 July 2009

Philadelphia, Penn. , US – Two advocacy groups, Friends of Animals (“FoA”) and local group Compassion for Animals, Respect for the Environment (“CARE”), will hold a permitted public vigil to address the National Park Service’s issuance this week of its final Environmental Impact Statement for Valley Forge National Historical Park.

In early 2009, Park officials were joined by the state Game Commission to persuade the public to accept agents from the U.S. Department of Agriculture coming in with rifles and silencers to kill the vast majority of the deer over the next four winters. Then they say they’ll spend future years controlling the deer with a lab-created birth control substance. This week, the government confirmed these expensive, intrusive and violent plans.

The main reason for the federal agency’s proposed war on the deer is the conservation of native plant species in the five-mile Valley Forge Park.

“A disingenuous excuse,” said Randi Milgram, Legal intern for Friends of Animals, who is working with a team of attorneys to file a lawsuit on behalf of the two advocacy groups in support of the deer of Valley Forge.

“This is not your founding fathers’ Valley Forge,” Milgram said.

“Today it’s built up and commercial. The park officials don’t say it’s ‘unacceptable’ to keep increasing concrete in and around the Park in recent years. ‘Unacceptable’ is a word they conveniently reserve for deer.”

Friends of Animals’ local chapter director Leila Fusfeld expressed appreciation for the work of the University of Denver Environmental Law Clinic, who will lead the litigation.

“We are all for the presence of songbirds and natural vegetation. We are challenging the Park’s deer-control proposal based not only on our respect for the deer, but our respect for the entire biocommunity.” Fusfeld said.

“Since 2003, as reported in The Philadelphia Inquirer, the Valley Forge Park deer population has decreased.” *

Friends of Animals’ Pennsylvania members and supporters are speaking up for Valley Forge Park as a rare safe spot for animal life in the midst of suburban shopping malls and road construction. FoA supporter Mary Stephens supports Alternative A — no action against the deer.

“If the assault does occur,” said Stephens, “We will never spend a day there again. I could not enjoy myself knowing I am standing in a killing field splattered with blood from innocent and beautiful deer.”

Support the animals of Valley Forge by meeting us there! Rt. 23 and North Gulph Rd., Valley Forge , PA 19406 Map

The SEPTA Bus Route 125 goes to the Valley Forge Welcome Center. Map PDF Carpooling from Philadelphia is also available through contacts on this release.

*Jeff Gammage, “Valley Forge Park Plans Huge Deer Shoot” (Sun, Feb. 15, 2009) at B1.

For more background about our work on this internationally important issue, click here.

If you would like to donate to Friends of Animals and support our work dedicated to defending the safety and dignity of the deer and other animals, click “donate” on the tab at the top of this webpage. You’ll receive our thanks and a tax receipt. Donations are tax-deductible.