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Deer Heeding Season

Bob Barker is on a mission. A deer-saving mission. The former Price Is Right host is an animal lover and he has written an open letter to the residents of Rockville to urge them to contact their mayor to stop deer hunting (and also stop suggesting the meat be donated to homeless people. Yes, really). To read the entire letter see after the jump. [Examiner/WUSA9]

Bob Barker
P.O. Box 57227, Sherman Oaks, CA 91413

Dear Citizens of Rockville, Maryland:

COME ON DOWN and tell your mayor and city council that you can learn to share your great city with the deer! I know that you can do it! But you must do it in writing by September 9. And you must be at the meeting for the decision on Oct. 24. I am begging you to make time to go.

As you have no doubt heard, I am an animal lover. Perhaps you are not as aware that I believe in lawmakers who listen to the public.

I have unfortunately recently discovered that my deer friends in your city may be killed. I find any method of killing deer to be inhumane, as much as I feel it is so totally useless. Almost everyone would agree that deer are not aggressive animals; but are instead extremely gentle. They avoid humans and pain while forming family bonds and friendships.

I have found that the best way to satisfy most, if not all, citizens, is to bring the residents together to educate and assist those of you having the greatest conflict with the deer. Your city can educate you about many facts including that the deer do not cause Lyme Disease.

Your city can learn and implement the many ways to keep deer off your roadways and how to avoid collisions.

Your councilwoman expressed interest in donating the deer meat to the hungry and homeless. She was assured by your Task Force that this would happen. Yet deer shot full of lead are poisonous. Naturally, it is not inspected by the USDA. I am afraid this might be another fact you have not heard.

It is fact that deer shot by arrows often linger for days in agony. Not fair for the deer who has been hit, not fair for the other deer who are witness to this; and not fair to the youngster who might encounter that deer while walking to school as I hear your Mayor Marcuccio has so wisely implied. And how incredibly horrifying would this be for your citizens who love the deer and have no problem living side by side with them in peace. Shouldn't their feelings be considered?

These same citizens may have moved to your neighborhood because of the wildlife, including the deer. Imagine the grief that they and their children would go through if your deer were killed. And imagine how the deer would feel as they saw members of their family being gunned down after being baited. I would not want out-of-town killers to appear in Rockville, but they will if a hunt is approved.

I am concerned that although you must submit your public comments by September 9, your Deer Task Force will be meeting for the foreseeable future. I also am concerned that although the final plan will not be presented and voted on until October 24; Rockville citizens will have no opportunity after that date to weigh in. It is hard to submit comments when details are left out. It is also concerning that 3 of your councilmen have already stated their desire for a deer hunt before even hearing the public's comments.

Although there are many items listed in the Deer Task Force report for Rockville, only those of you who have attended the July 11 mayor and council meeting where the report was presented; or those of you who had the time to watch the meeting on video, are aware that alternatives were almost totally ignored, and all questions were about only a hunt.

In short, we can match the "claims" of those who are pro-hunting. I urge the City and the Task Force in order to be fair to all citizens, to not change the meeting date again from October 24 so that all may participate with adequate notice. I also urge you to make your voice heard; be the voice of the voiceless and innocent deer before September 9. Then join with your mayor and support the humane leadership role she has so far taken by showing up at the October 24 meeting. I am counting on you and so are the deer.

Please get the facts. I don't have space to list all scientific references here. But be assured, a hunt would not only be cruel, but would be even more horrific because it is unnecessary and useless.


Bob Barker

(Animal Rights Activist and former host of television's THE PRICE IS RIGHT)