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Hastings Launches Ground-Breaking Deer Population Control Project

The Village of Hastings will participate in a study to see if immunocontraception is a viable form of population control for deer.
The Village of Hastings will participate in a study to see if immunocontraception is a viable form of population control for deer. Photo Credit: Danny LoPriore

HASTINGS, N.Y. -- The Village of Hastings-on-Hudson has launched a five-year research project to see if immunocontraception can be used as a viable form of deer population control.

Immunocontracteption has been used successfully to reduce deer populations on islands and in confined settings, but this new project will be the first study conducted on a free-roaming deer population living in an open, suburban area in the U.S.

“Hastings is proud to be part of this effort, and more than 120 residents have volunteered to help in various aspects of this study, underscoring the broad support it enjoys in our community," Mayor Peter Swiderski said in a statement. "We believe that, should this approach work in Hastings, we will be creating the only viable alternative to lethal methods currently examined and rejected by literally hundreds of communities nationwide that face a similar problem.”

Under the protocols approved by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, highly trained staff from The Humane Society of the United States will capture, ear-tag and administer a long-acting form of the PZP vaccine to approximately 60 female deer living in the Village.

Treated deer will be monitored for fawns to determine vaccine effectiveness and longevity for two to three years after initial treatment.