02/21/2013 03:06 EST | Updated 04/23/2013 05:12 EDT

Vandals damage Cranbrook deer cull nets

Vandals have damaged the nets a contractor is using to cull deer in Cranbrook, where a controversial plan is underway to destroy 30 of the animals.

Each night a contractor sets nine clover traps in Cranbrook with the hopes of snaring problem deer. Once the animals are captured, they are killed with a bolt gun.

But the community is divided on going ahead with the cull and someone is ruining the traps.

Cranbrook Mayor Wayne Stetski says the deer issue has raised passions, but vandalizing nets is not the way to deal with concerns.

"Regardless of which side of the questions you're on, if you start to see damage or people threatened by other people then I think it has taken a very wrong turn," said Stetski.

The Animal Alliance of Canada has a representative in Cranbrook this week, but director Liz White said they do not believe in tampering with nets.

"Our organization is here to document the cull," said White, "our group is always up front with what we are doing and so I don't support that kind of activity."

The same thing happened in Invermere, B.C., last year, where a court case was launched to stop the killing of deer. Other communities that want to cull deer populations are awaiting the results of the case.