Animal Defenders of Westchester

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We advocate on all animal protection and exploitation issues, including experimentation, factory farming, rodeos, breeders and traveling animal acts.

Animal Defenders of Westchester
P.O. Box 205
Yonkers, NY 10704

Press Release


20 April 2013

Kiley Blackman  
[email protected]   



As hunters salivate over the prospect, the City of Rye, NY is considering a bow hunting event to kill off, or 'cull' their deer neighbors, as rifle hunting isn't allowed in the area.  Rye is totally baffled and unable to find an alternative - even though they formed  a deer committee years ago but ignored its suggestions; and despite the fact that the nearby town of Hastings, NY just announced a wonderful plan of using birth control with their deer residents.

Several questions are immediately apparent with this announcement: One area of the hunt is at Marshlands, which is a county property. Does the Rye City Council has jurisdiction over it? The county uses 100 bow hunters whom they pay to "manage" deer on county owned property. Are they are going to unleash 100 bow hunters on that small area while people are on nature hikes?  How much they are paying each hunter out of taxpayer dollars?  How much are the processing costs of the deer that they are going to donate to the homeless?  When this odious activity is done to geese, the processing cost to taxpayers is almost $25.00 per pound!  Furthermore, we are awaiting a call from Marshlands, which was asked about the hunt because it is a
wildlife SANCTUARY. Apparently our understanding of the word differs from Rye's.

Rye City Manager Scott Pickup, a hunting proponent,  grabs the usual baseless buzz words to promote a slaughter: 'Besides wreaking havoc on the city's woods and gardens, the unchecked deer herds increase the risk of Lyme disease, which is spread to humans by ticks that feed on the animals, and the likelihood of deer-vehicle collisions.'  Rye is a beautiful city; listening to Pickup, one would think its a vast wasteland; and furthermore, anyone who wants to kill others for eating their tomatoes has far bigger problems than 'deer mgmt.'  In addition there are plants that dissuade wildlife from eating local vegetables.  Pickup then offers zero 'proof' of the remotest increase in Lymes disease in Rye - nor does he offer 'proof' of increased deer-car collisions.; and  the fact is that deer-car collisions are frequently caused by frightened deer running into the road to escape hunters. A trip to Rye offers a view of parkways strewn with soda cans, cigarette butts, newspapers and other disgusting litter, and Rye Beach looks like a garbage dump...somehow its always the fault of wildlife.  

Kevin Clarke of the DEC says the deer '...lead to the disappearance of native shrubs and wildflowers, the decline of bird species and the increase of invasive plants that take over the understory, a layer of forest bedding that birds use for nesting.'  We visited Rye after hearing this quote from Clarke, expecting to see a barren landscape of tree stumps, ominous quiet and scorched earth, straight out of Mel Gibson's 'Mad Max': Instead we found a lovely city with birds singing and greenery starting to make its timely appearance for spring.

Kiley Blackman, founder of Animal Defenders of Westchester said,  "People move to these areas to see wildlife instead of highrises, and children love seeing the deer.  We heartily applaud Rye Mayor Doug French for stating he 'isn't
convinced' that the city should be calling in hunters to deal with deer.  We are offering to work with Mayor French on finding a way for Rye to live in peace with their wildlife residents.  . We helped Councilperson Dee Barbato get an ordinance passed in Yonkers that required all bows and arrows be sheathed at all times. Most animal advocates are against all forms of hunting, as are we; but bow hunting is the worst, the cruelest form of hunting - even rifle hunters denounce it.  There are numerous variables making it wildly inaccurate,  including wind conditions,  bow maneuvering and strength...all at a moving target.  It is far more likely that an animal shot with a bow will stagger away injured, wind up with an infection, and die alone suffering pathetically.  The DEC admits rifle hunting can't occur in the suburbs because of the risk of bullets flying randomly around; apparently its okay if it's random arrows.

We say 'No, its not okay, not for humans or for animals.' We urge Mayor French to use kindness in his dealings with every one of Rye's residents - from its' vocal citizens, to those who have no voice."

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