10/05/2012 01:02 EDT | Updated 12/05/2012 05:12 EST

Cranbrook deer cull on hold as public involvement process in the crosshairs

CRANBROOK, B.C. - Court action launched against one southeastern B.C. town has left Cranbrook officials gun shy as they consider another cull of mule deer.

Cranbrook Mayor Wayne Stetski says Invermere council is being forced into court to defend the public involvement process used to approve its cull of 100 deer in March.

Stetski says Cranbrook relied on the same process, and he worries about repercussions if the court finds fault with Invermere's methods.

He notes problem deer in Cranbrook could be relocated, rather than shot, if opponents pay the difference between the cost of a cull and a relocation program, which is more expensive.

Urban deer have become a significant problem in the Kootenay and Okanagan, as habituated animals chase and attack dogs and people.

Cranbrook, Invermere and Kimberley have carried out culls of aggressive deer, while Grand Forks and Penticton are considering the method. (CHBZ)