Innovative Humane Deer Management Program Tested in Maryland Suburbs

The Humane Society of the United States, the nation’s largest animal protection organization, applauds an innovative program in the Baltimore suburbs to control the white-tailed deer population through sterilization. This first of its kind program in the state is a cooperative effort of the Maryland Department of Natural Resources, private deer management company White Buffalo, and Wildlife Rescue, Inc., a non-profit Monkton wildlife rehabilitation organization. The first test of the program, in which wildlife veterinarian Steve Timm, DVM, performed surgery on deer anesthetized in the field, was conducted earlier in February over a period of seven days, and was recently highlighted in the Baltimore Sun.

“This is a ground-breaking effort to test an alternative strategy to deal with conflicts between people and deer in Maryland’s suburbs,” said John Hadidian, Ph.D, director of The HSUS’ urban wildlife program. The project was financed by Wildlife Rescue, Inc. Gerda Deterer, the founder of Wildlife Rescue, approved the project before she passed away in 2009.  Added Hadidian, “Nothing could be more appropriate to commemorate Gerda’s selfless and tireless dedication to helping wildlife.”

“We hope this is just the beginning of a new partnership with the Maryland DNR on innovative strategies to manage the state’s deer populations—and other wildlife—humanely,” said Enid Feinberg, a Wildlife Rescue board member, who was instrumental in working with the state and White Buffalo in putting the project together.  “We were thrilled with the success of this project and look forward to other similar successes in the future.” 

A total of 32 female deer were treated successfully, with surgeries ensuring that the hundreds of fawns they might have given birth to over their lifetimes will not add to the growing deer population and human-deer conflicts on private property in a residential neighborhood near Loch Raven Reservoir in Baltimore County, north of the city.  For more information about the program, please visit

The HSUS is a leader in the development of contraception agents and procedures that offer humane means of controlling animal populations and has several active deer immunocontraception study sites in Maryland, New York and South Carolina, including an ongoing study at the National Institutes of Standards and Technology campus near The HSUS’ Gaithersburg office. To learn more about PZP, please visit The HSUS website.

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