Government agency’s solution to deer overpopulation: Spend taxpayer money on ovary removal

Government agency’s solution to deer overpopulation: Spend taxpayer money on ovary removal

February 22nd, 2016, by Jon E. Dougherty

( Deer hunting season in Maryland began in late November, but one government agency’s solution to being overrun by the four-legged omnivores is puzzling – and, ultimately, costly to the taxpayers.

As reported by the Washington Free Beacon, the Bethesda campus where the National Institutes of Health is located has too many deer roaming freely, according to top officials, where some 30-40 animals co-habitat with human residents.

Shooting them, apparently, is out of the question, though obviously this would be the cheapest, most efficient method (and for good measure, the deer meat could be donated to local food charities, which historically run low during the holidays). Rather, NIH officials are searching for a contracted veterinarians to capture the female deer, anesthetize them, and then surgically remove their ovaries to reduce the population – as if this will prevent additional deer from finding refuge on campus.

“The purpose of this contract is to continue the work initiated last year to provide the NIH with wildlife expertise for the control of the deer population on the Bethesda Campus,” says the statement of work accompanying a solicitation issued by the agency.

“The contractor will perform ovariectomies on adult female deer, provide tagging, and provide expert advice for humanely controlling the deer population.”

“Additionally, the contractor will provide training of NIH veterinary staff in the performance of ovariectomies in deer,” the document continued. “In addition, the contractor shall be required to provide training in the use of dart guns to the NIH Police.”

Agency officials noted that its HQ has “few remaining open spaces suitable as deer habitat” and besides, they’ve never allowed hunting, the WFB reported.

“The property is surrounded by high density residential and commercial development,” officials noted. “There has never been hunting permitted within the NIH campus, and there are no non-human predators present that are capable of limiting a deer population.”

Okay, so no hunting – but expensive ovariectomies?

The contract would require female deer to be anesthetized and “transported to a central location to perform surgical procedures – ovariectomy.”

“All animals are administered a reversal agent and monitored during recovery,” the agency said in its contract announcement. “All surgically ovariectomized females will be treated for pain control as well as for potential infection.”

The contract would last for three years.

Not surprisingly, no one at NIH returned phone calls from the WFB seeking comment on whether any other methods of deer population control were considered.

See also:

Washington Free Beacon

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