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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



I have lost all respect for Vassar.

It's amazing how little regard we have for our environment and all of God's creatures. Vassar should cherish it's environs and not destroy the wonderful wildlife!