LONGUEUIL, Que. — A Quebec Superior Court judge has ruled that a city south of Montreal can proceed with a plan to cull most of the white-tailed deer that have overrun a local park.
Justice Bernard Jolin said Longueuil, Que., can move forward with a controlled crossbow hunt that would cut the deer population at Michel-Chartrand Park from more than 100 down to about 20.
Jolin's ruling is the latest in a saga that has seen animal rights organizations and activists fight in court to block the cull, arguing that control methods should favour keeping the animals alive.
But Jolin disagreed with that argument, saying that while the law recognizes animals are sentient beings it does not recognize their right or interest in living.
In a 57-page ruling released today, Jolin says the groups have not demonstrated the plan is unreasonable and says the planned cull falls within the city's legal rights when it comes to environment, nuisances and health and safety.
The City of Longueuil says in a statement it will soon present a revised plan to proceed with the hunt, while the groups opposed to the cull have 30 days to appeal the ruling.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Aug. 31, 2023.
The Canadian Press