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Environment & Climate Change

Bill would ban permits for wild game sterilization

steve carmody
Michigan Radio

This week, Michigan lawmakers are scheduled to discuss a measure that would prevent communities from sterilizing wild animals to control their populations.

In Ann Arbor, a contractor has been sterilizing white tail deer, as part of a larger effort to reduce the city’s deer population. But a bill before state lawmakers would ban the state from issuing another sterilization permit like the one in Ann Arbor.

Steve Beyer is with the Michigan Department of Natural Resources. He doesn’t think sterilizing female deer is an effective population control tool.  

“It’s going to take a pretty special set of circumstances for it to be something that would be useful,” says Beyer. “I can’t see most communities that were having a problem with deer wanting to go to this solution.  It would be something of a last resort.”

Beyer says it will be several years before the effectiveness of the Ann Arbor study will be clear.