06/27/2013 12:45 EDT | Updated 08/26/2013 05:12 EDT

Deer cull mulled in Oak Bay, B.C.

City officials in the Vancouver Island community of Oak Bay have voted to consider a deer cull, along with a list of other measures to help them tackle the problem of habituated deer.

Deer are often seen on golf courses in the area, munching their way through yards, walking across roads, destroying farm crops and causing major problems.

Up to 24 deer are accidentally killed in the district every year, leading some to believe a cull is necessary.

Oak Bay Mayor Nils Jensen said the deer's behaviour is an ongoing concern.

"We've had stories of deer leaping over large fences into backyards where there are children playing. Thankfully they haven't landed on the child," he said.

"The deer are a problem. They create health and safety issues."

But critics argue the common practice of trapping the deer at night and then euthanizing them is inhumane.

"They spend the night in there, thrashing around, hurting themselves," said Kelly Carson of DeerSafe Victoria.

"In the morning, two men come and they collapse the trap onto the deer. They put their body weight on her and they boltgun her in the head."

Oak Bay will also continue trying to cut confrontations through better education to discourage feeding, repellents, improved signs warning of nearby deer and lower speed limits to reduce the chance of collisions.

It could take up to a year for the Capital Regional District to create an official plan, which could include a cull, for dealing with the deer problem.