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Vassar Farm & Ecological Preserve Starts Deer ShootFriends of Animals Says: Put Down the Guns, Let Deer Live

January 09, 2013 | Deer / Hunting & Wildlife Management / Take Action

For Immediate Release
January 9, 2013
Contact: Edita Birnkrant, NY Director Friends of Animals
917.940.2725; email

New York-Vassar College, a private, wealthy college located in Poughkeepsie, New York, has come under fire from Friends of Animals, an international animal advocacy group, for baiting and shooting deer, including pregnant does, within the 527.5 acres of land within Vassar Farm & Ecological Preserve. Five deer were killed January 7th, and the killing will continue in the coming days.

"It's ludicrous that Vassar, with their vast financial resources, refuses to adopt common sense, long-term strategies such as modifying landscapes to deter deer from sensitive areas of the preserve and planting vegetation that deer don't consider food," says Edita Birnkrant, NY Director of Friends of Animals. "Plants can easily be replanted-blasting away at deer on preserve land is an irrational, mean response."

In 2010, Vassar instituted a slaughter that killed 64 deer, bringing the remaining number down to only 9; this year the massacre targets a few dozen more. This grotesque torment must end, Birnkrant says. "We demand a permanent stop to the extermination of deer at Vassar, and new sane policies. Vassar, considered an elite college, can't seem to understand that putting down the guns, and living with native deer, is the rational step forward."

The Vassar Farm & Ecological Preserve's mission statement includes "protecting and preserving the ecological diversity of the land," and "promotes increased understanding and appreciation of the natural systems on the preserve through field-based education and research." Why can't Vassar College tolerate a few dozen deer, Friends of Animals asks. The college claims an "overabundance" of deer is destroying proper regrowth of plant life and trees at its preserve.

Keri VanCamp, Field Station and Ecological Preserve Manager told Birnkrant at Friends of Animals by telephone that "humans are the natural predators of deer," as though that's a scientific finding, Birnkrant says.

Poughkeepsie Town Supervisor Todd Tancredi expressed disappointment this week to Friends of Animals about Vassar's actions, and said that the deer-killing initiative "really goes against the values Vassar seems to teach." Tancredi pledged to institute a town resolution within the next few weeks to urge Vassar to consider other options besides killing when Vassar arbitrarily decides again that there are too many deer on their property. Friends of Animals is alerting the public at large to urge the Town Board to pass this vital resolution. (Contact information is available at FoA's website

Tancredi's resolution would also contain language critical of the deer extermination plan, an important public statement by Poughkeepsie officials against Vassar's arrogant, selfish deer killing policy, Friends of Animals says.


Please contact Poughkeepsie Town Supervisor Todd Tancredi, and urge him to immediately propose and pass the resolution. Also contact each Board Member below to protect deer by voting "Yes" on this resolution.

Town Supervisor Todd Tancredi Phone: 845-485-3603

Poughkeepsie Town Board Members

Jon Jay Baisley
First Ward
33 Merrywood Road
Wappingers Falls, NY 12590

Sean Eagleton
Second Ward
96 Autumn Drive
Poughkeepsie, NY 12603

Joseph Conte
Third Ward
48 Ireland Drive
Poughkeepsie, NY 12603

Michael Cifone
Fourth Ward
94 Fairview Avenue
Poughkeepsie, NY 12601

Stephan Krakower
Fifth Ward
21 Abes Way
Poughkeepsie, NY 12601
845-462-7078 fax

Ann Shershin
Sixth Ward
15 Whitehall Road
Poughkeepsie, NY12603

Please also contact Catherine Bond Hill, President of Vassar College to object to the college's wrong-headed deer slaughter policy.
Catherine Bond Hill, President of Vassar College
Phone: 845.437.7200

Finally, Keri Van Camp, who justified the deer slaughter by saying, "humans are the natural predators of deer," should hear from deer-shooting opponents.
Keri Van Camp, Field Station and Ecological Preserve Manager
Phone: 845.437.7414




Like I've said before, Ignorance and Stupidity Reigns Supreme even in the Halls of Higher Learning.

Vassar should be ashamed to be so brutal. You are teaching the younger generation to kill and have no compassion. Rethink this Vassar and to think i live right down the road from Vassar College and though i live in a proud area for the famous name. Your college will become a negative on my tongue for this.

This is cruel and shameful!

Have these fools nothing better to do..???

This is so cruel ,,it must stop,,,now.

this is really shameful, how can they make such a decision!

There are nearly eight billion humans in every corner of Mother Earth. How many deer do you think exist in the same numbers?????? No way at all & all too many are going exstinct faster than snow melts. Save all the deer & all the other animals for the future. Wherever you go there once were millions of trees & deer. Plant & protect Danny's trees & deer for life. Trees are the lungs of the earth & the deer are the earth's children.

A college of smart people, officials, professors of biological science can't think of another more deer and environmentally friendly idea? What about a very high fence? I heard this alternative has been offered by the community. Hate to be rude, but what Vassar is doing to the deer is RUDE. At the risk of gun back-lash, how would you all like to be culled?

It's shameful that Vassar is brutally shooting gentle, harmless deer instead of listening to ways that deer control can be done without bloodshed! STOP the needless and cruel deer-killing NOW!