N.J. approves contraceptives for deer but hunting is cheaper | Science updates | NewJerseyNewsroom.com -- Your State. Your News.


May 28th
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N.J. approves contraceptives for deer but hunting is cheaper

deer082411_optBY PAM LOBLEY

New Jersey has become the second state in the nation (Maryland was the first) to approve a contraceptive for deer in order to control that population. Just because it’s been approved, however, doesn’t mean it will be put into practice. GonaCon, the contraceptive, is quite expensive to use.

The single dose necessary for it to work only costs $50, however, each deer must be caught, injected, tagged, and released, so with manpower costs, the price tag comes to about $1,000 per deer.

Birth control is always a controversial issue. As soon as GonaCon gained approval, Does for Life began protesting.

“We have a right to procreate just like any species”, their spokesman said as she decimated an azalea bush on someone’s front lawn. “The geese are way more disgusting than we are, and I don’t see you injecting them with hormones.”

Up With Antlers took another tack. “We don’t think our fawns should be subjected to life lessons on sex education by ‘the man’. We want to educate our own offspring in our own dens!” They point out that their bodies are their own, and they should not be used as some medicinal playground.

The always outspoken White-Tails for Choice decreed “We does need to be free to decide whether we want to be a mother or not. We don’t want society putting us into any proscribed roles.”

My dog Oliver offered yet another opinion. He barked to a buck we saw in a neighbor’s back yard, “Dude! If I had to get fixed, so do you!”

Deer hunting is legal, so birth control isn’t the only way to limit the population. Hunters can enjoy more than a hundred days of deer hunting, including seasons for bow, shotgun and muzzleloading rifle. The 2010-11 deer harvest was 55,404. It has been pointed out that hunting is much cheaper than contraception.

For animal lovers, GonaCon, though expensive, is an appealing alternative to killing the deer. This prompted the Black Bears Against Bullets to speak up and ask “Um, can we try that contraception thing … instead of the December hunting season?”

Pam Lobley writes the “Now That’s Funny” column. Sign up for her mailing list at www.pamlobley.com.


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