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Ann Arbor deer cull controversy becomes election issue in 2nd Ward

(Excerpt from M-Live article) With Ann Arbor officials making plans to hire sharpshooters to kill 100 deer this winter, "stop the shoot" has become the official battle cry of animal rights activists.

"Stop the shoot" yard signs, which are being distributed by the Humane Society of Huron Valley, are starting to pop up around town. And joining the HSHV in the fight against the deer cull are groups from here to Wisconsin.

"It is our responsibility to stop it!" reads a new website from a citizens group called Save the Deer Ann Arbor, urging citizens to stand up and speak out.

The ongoing controversy over the deer cull is now spilling into the 2nd Ward race for City Council. Council Member Jane Lumm, who led the charge on the deer issue, is being targeted by multiple groups for championing the launch of a four-year culling program, which the City Council voted 8-1 to support in August.

While every council member except the mayor supports moving forward with culling, Lumm is the only one with an opponent in the Nov. 3 election at this point. Write-in candidates still have until Oct. 23 to declare candidacy in any ward.

Lumm is being challenged by former 2nd Ward rep Sally Hart Petersen, a Democrat who says she's opposed to culling at this time and would rather see the city try nonlethal methods of population control such as sterilization.

Petersen didn't get into the race because of the deer issue, and she says she's surprised it has become an issue in the race, but she welcomes the support she's getting from those who share her views on the issue.

Michigan's Political Action Committee for Animals is endorsing Petersen and trying to drum up support for her campaign.

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