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Protests spur NY officials to scale back deer cull

SOUTHOLD, N.Y. (AP) -- An ambitious plan to kill as many as 3,000 white-tailed deer on eastern Long Island has been severely cut back following a protest and court challenge.

Officials now estimate that a U.S. Department of Agriculture program will bring in about 1,000 deer.

Animal welfare activists, hunters and others have protested the mass killing by trained sharpshooters. The animal welfare activists think it's inhumane, while many local hunters think they can perform the task better than outsiders.

Most people agree that deer on eastern Long Island have become a problem. Officials say the brown-eyed does and bucks are responsible for crop damage, car accidents and blame them for carrying ticks that cause Lyme disease.

Officials have said the venison from the slaughtered deer will go to food banks.