Friday, May 27, 2011

NEW BRUNSWICK NEWS: Deer Feeding Bans Might Not Aid In Lyme Fight

Municipal bylaws banning people from feeding deer may not help prevent the spread of Lyme disease, according to a public health official.

Saint John council voted on Tuesday to refer the idea of a bylaw banning people from feeding deer to the city's legal department for advice.

Coun. Bill Farren said the deer cause a wide range of problems, such as carrying ticks infected with Lyme disease. But the proposal to ban the public from feeding deer is receiving mixed reviews.

Dr. Scott Giffin, a provincial medical officer of health in Saint John, said he isn't convinced the proposed bylaw would help prevent the spread of Lyme disease.

"I think the evidence for culling deer herds as a way to control ticks is weak at best and there may be many other reasons for culling deer herds that fall ahead of Lyme disease, that's for sure," he said.

The relationship between deer densities and Lyme is not simple, in part because so many other animals also serve as both hosts for deer ticks and reservoirs of Lyme Disease.

The full story is here: CBC

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