Petition seeks investigation into state’s slaying of nine deer at N.C. animal refuge
When is an animal sanctuary not an animal sanctuary?
When state wildlife officials raid it and begin shooting its fenced-in denizens with shotguns.
Thousands of people have joined a popular campaign on Change.org demanding the North Carolina Wildlife Commission investigate the shooting last month of nine tame deer by its officers on a rehabilitation farm in North Carolina.
The officers shot and killed the deer on Wayne Kinley’s farm in Randolph County, saying they needed to conduct tests on the animals to see if they had Chronic Wasting Disease, an illness that has never been found in North Carolina.
State wildlife officials say the test can’t be conducted on live animals.
According to Fox 8 News, wildlife officials received an anonymous tip in June that Kinley was running a captive deer farm without a license.
They showed up at his farm on September 20, handed him a warrant and proceeded to shoot seven fallow deer and two white-tailed deer with 12-gauge shotguns.
Among those killed were a fawn and a deer that was blind in one eye.
“Deer were running everywhere,” Kinley said. “It was not a sight for anyone to see. They were judge and jury and convicted my deer today within a matter of 30-45 minutes.”
Wildlife officials say state law requires those running captive deer farms to have a license, and that Kinley doesn’t have one.
Kinley said he has been running the rehabilitation farm for 30 years, caring for peacocks, buffalo, kangaroos and, in the past seven years, deer.
“I didn’t know anything was wrong until today. They wouldn’t even give me a chance to plead my case to a court or anyone,” Kinley said.
Kinley received a citation, but said he plans to go to court and fight it.
The petition at Change.org was started by Millie Bowling, a North Carolina resident.
“I’m a great supporter of the wildlife commission,” said Bowling. ”But they are out of control shooting these animals.”
While the wildlife agents who stormed the property claimed to have a warrant, Kinley’s supporters argue that the warrant did not authorize agents to kill the animals, only to seize them.
“Where were our fourth amendment rights in all this?” asked Jo Henderson, a neighbor who initially raised one of the slain deer before placing it on the rehabilitation farm. “It just breaks my heart. There was no reason to kill those animals, and our rights are being trampled. We’re not going to stand for it.”
Henderson has been collecting petition signatures both online and offline and planned to deliver them — 7,000 as of yesterday — at a wildlife commission meeting today.
“People across the country have been moved by this campaign,” said Corinne Ball, Director of Organizing at Change.org. “This may have happened in a small community in North Carolina, but now folks from all over are paying attention.”
Posted by jwoestendiek October 12th, 2011 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: animals, asheboro, campaign, captive, cause, change.org, chronic wasting disease, deer, farm, fenced, investigation, killed, massacre, nine, north carolina, penned, petition, pets, randolph county, refuge, sanctuary, shot, tame, tests, wayne kinley, wildlife, wildlife commission