NJ judge declines to issue order stopping Trenton deer cull

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Judge won't stop deer hunt; two-judge panel to consider lawsuit

By DAVID WEINSTEIN, The Associated Press

1/15/02 12:36 PM


TRENTON, N.J. (AP) -- A two-judge panel will hear arguments on Princeton Township's plan to reduce its deer herd, but a judge on Tuesday declined to issue an order temporarily halting the hunt.

Superior Court Judge Anthony J. Parrillo denied the request for a temporary restraining order. He and Superior Court Judge Dorothea Wefing will hear arguments on a bid by animal rights activists seeking to halt the hunt. When arguments will be heard is unclear, although Parrillo granted the case "accelerated" status.

Princeton's plans call for hired professionals to cull the municipality's deer herd using rifles and a so-called net-and-bolt system by which deer are trapped then shot through the skull at close range.

Opponents say the plan is unsafe and cruel, and violates state laws regarding animal cruelty.

Trishka Waterbury, an attorney representing Princeton Township, did not say when the hunt would commence, although she noted that it could begin as early as Tuesday.

"We've given 24-hour notice" to the state Division of Fish and Wildlife, "so we can start today," Waterbury said.

Carl Mayer, a lawyer representing the groups seeking to halt the hunt, called on the township to wait until the next hearing.

Mayor Phyllis Marchand also declined to say when the township would begin the hunt.

This would be the second year of culling in the township. Hunters hired by the township killed 322 deer last year.

The township says the deer have become a nuisance to homeowners and farmers and a menace to motorists.
 


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