EDMONTON, Alberta, Feb. 22 (UPI) -- Residents of southeast Alberta are upset with a provincially ordered deer cull to prevent the spread of Chronic Wasting Disease, the Edmonton Sun reported.
The affected area is a 6.5-mile radius around Chauvin, where provincial game officials have been ordered to shoot every deer on sight to prevent the spread of CWD from neighboring Saskatchewan, the report said.
Locals, backed by the Alberta Fish and Game Association, have complained the cull targets more deer than necessary, upsets the natural balance, threatens tourism, and spooks livestock, the Sun said.
Dave Ealey, a spokesman for Sustainable Resource Development, said the province's efforts are based in science.
"This is not a hunt, let me make that clear. This is a cull," he said. "This is disease management."
Because of several unseasonably warm winters, Alberta's deer population has exploded, the Calgary Herald said. A similar cull last winter reduced the numbers by about 1,850, the report said.