Update on Lawsuit Against Deer-Killing Program

For Immediate Release:
January 26, 2017

David Perle 202-483-7382

Today, PETA member Eilene Cohhn—represented by in-house counsel from the PETA Foundation as well as Washington-based public-interest law firm Meyer Glitzenstein & Eubanks LLP—filed the opening brief in her appeal of the lawsuit aimed at stopping the Pilot Archery Managed Deer Hunting Program, which allows hunters to use high-powered crossbows and vertical bows to kill deer in parks in Montgomery County, Maryland.

Cohhn’s lawsuit alleges—and the trial court found—that because expert sharpshooters are available and have an error rate of less than 1 percent, the crossbow program, which has an error rate of at least 7 percent, is not the most humane method reasonably available to kill deer. The trial court found that killing deer with crossbows did not amount to cruelty, but Cohhn’s appeal argues that since the available expert sharpshooters could kill deer swiftly and certainly, any animals who die slowly or are left injured by steel arrows suffer needlessly, in violation of Maryland’s prohibition on causing animals unnecessary suffering and pain—so the trial court’s findings are inconsistent.

“Lethal deer management programs don’t work, and using high-powered crossbows to shoot steel arrows through these animals’ flesh is particularly cruel, as many deer escape and slowly bleed to death from their wounds,” says general counsel to PETA Jeff Kerr. “PETA encourages residents to speak out against this inhumane and wasteful use of tax dollars.”

PETA’s motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to abuse in any way.”

For more information, please visit PETA.org.

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Media Response Team.


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 Ingrid E. Newkirk

“Almost all of us grew up eating meat, wearing leather, and going to circuses and zoos. We never considered the impact of these actions on the animals involved. For whatever reason, you are now asking the question: Why should animals have rights?” READ MORE

— Ingrid E. Newkirk, PETA President and co-author of Animalkind