ECO-XENOPHOBIA: About 400 fallow deer on Robben Island are to be culled in an 'alien' animals programme which also includes rabbits, cats and rats. Picture: Matthew Jordaan.
Cape Town - Stalling the culling of 400 fallow deer on Robben Island will come to an end in two days.

The cull, which was to resume on June 28, was halted after the Cape of Good Hope SPCA said there were aspects about it for which they needed clear answers.

The SPCA said they still did not condone unconditional culling of fallow deer but announced that the cull was set to resume on Wednesday.

Wildlife Unit supervisor Janet van der Vyver said they had made a request that Robben Island Museum employ non-lethal methods of population control on the remaining herd.

“We would recommend that either a same-sex herd remain on the island or a herd with only two or three castrated males. We are not in support of it but choose to be there to monitor the cull and ensure it is carried out in a humane manner,” she said.

SPCA chief executive Allan Perrins said the fact that the situation has been allowed to spiral out of control was proof that Robben Island Museum had poor leadership that should be charged with gross neglect.

“We looked forward to being a part of an intelligent solution and will never be bullied into condoning what can best be described as a conservation ruse designed to slaughter exotic animals on a wholesale basis."

The founder of Adopt-a-pet, Cicely Blumberg, said she was against what she called “eco-xenophobia” and said the island was not open to relocating the animals to shelters.

“We feel Robben Island is such a historical and sensitive place, I wonder what Nelson Mandela would have to say, especially with his birthday coming up. There are alternatives, and compassion and kindness need to be practised. Just because you don’t like something or cannot deal with it, does not mean it must be killed.”

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Cape Argus