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Town of New Glasgow looking to analyze urban deer situation

A deer grazes in a field on the east side of New Glasgow.
A deer grazes in a field on the east side of New Glasgow. - Kevin Adshade

NEW GLASGOW - The Town of New Glasgow has the urban deer problem in its sights. 

Mayor Nancy Dicks said at a recent public meeting, “people were very concerned” about the issue. As has been the case for several years now, deer can be seen most prominently along Abercrombie Road, pockets on the east side of New Glasgow. They can be seen almost everywhere.

They not only pose a threat to vehicular traffic, but they’re encroaching on private properties, eating flora and causing destruction to gardens, and wooded areas near the Aberdeen Hospital are also popular gathering places, the mayor added.

“There are a lot of municipalities that are having problems,” with urban deer populations, she said.

Town chief administrative officer (CAO) Lisa MacDonald stressed that it goes beyond property owners losing some flowers or shrubs. 

“There is a safety aspect to it – lyme disease, concerns about bucks being aggressive. They’re even using streets and sidewalks. I don’t think there’s an area in New Glasgow that they’re not visiting.”

A survey can be found on the town’s website, asking New Glasgow residents to provide their thoughts on urban deer, and there are also paper copies at the town hall that can be picked up by residents. 

The survey will be on the website until the end of July, “at which time a report will be developed with the content of the feedback, and it will go to council in August,” MacDonald said. At that point, the town hopes to work with the provincial lands and forest department to hopefully come up with some solutions.

She said some residents are ignoring – or are unaware of – a town bylaw that was put in place four years ago, banning the feeding of wildlife in the town. 

“We continue to have people that are feeding deer,” she added. 

“We’ve had the bylaw in place since 2015, and we encourage people to stop feeding deer, and we also encourage people to report others (who are feeding animals).”

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