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IDNR deer testing may conflict with Sleepy Hollow’s sanctuary law

Updated: September 24, 2012 6:25AM



SLEEPY HOLLOW — A possible conflict over the interpretation of the term “wildlife sanctuary” will play out at Monday’s village board meeting.

The village’s environmental committee voted unanimously to recommend that the village board allow the Illinois Department of Natural Resources to kill and test up to 20 deer in the village for Chronic Wasting Disease.

CWD is a fatal, transmissible neurological disease that creates small lesions in the brain of the deer and elk it affects.

Several residents have voiced their concern about the testing and have pointed to a village ordinance that makes the village a wildlife sanctuary, which they contend prohibits hunting animals in Sleepy Hollow.

Resident Robert Beckley said he attended Tuesday night’s committee meeting and said not all his questions were answered to his satisfaction by the IDNR and said he wonders if the suggested IDNR action fits the intent of the wildlife sanctuary ordinance.

Village President Stephen Pickett said for now, the possibility that testing the deer is illegal is just an interpretation, and on Monday he will listen to the board and decide whether the testing violates the ordinance or not.

Pickett also said he wanted to clear up that the IDNR will be sampling deer — killing some deer and later testing them for CWD — not culling, which means killing deer to thin the population.

If the committee’s recommendation is approved —allowing the IDNR to kill and test up to 20 deer in the village up to March 31 — the total number of deer tested within the 25-mile radius of where the first diseased deer was found, south of the Binnie Forest Preserve near Carpentersville — will be 60 (20 approved by Dundee Township, 20 by the Kane County Forest Preserve).

Carol Grom, who sits on the environmental committee, said although it approved and recommended the IDNR’s request, the ultimate decision will be made by the village board at its meeting Monday, when the village attorney will be on hand to answer questions and ensure there are no legal conflicts with the sanctuary ordinance.

Grom said in her opinion, an exception to the ordinance could be made, since the IDNR’s action is for scientific purposes.



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