The Board of Selectmen have scheduled an appearance by a state wildlife biologist at its May 21 meeting to discuss options the town has for controlling its deer population, blamed by some for the prevalence of Lyme disease and other tick-borne ailments.
Recognizing the issue’s potential for controversy, First Selectman Patricia Llodra stressed that the selectmen are only fact-finding and have not made any decisions at this point.
State wildlife biologist Howard Kilpatrick of the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) will present a review of .
The meeting will only be a dialogue between Kilpatrick and the selectmen and will not provide an opportunity for the public to take part in the discussion.
Llodra said Newtown’s deer population is much higher per square mile than is considered healthy for either humans or deer.
The deer tick, a tiny arachnid parasite that lives on deer, mice and other wildlife creatures, is responsible for spreading the Lyme disease bacteria to humans. The disease produces flu-like symptoms in its early stages, but can cause disabling, long-term arthritis-like symptoms if not treated early.
Newtown happens to be among the Connecticut towns with the highest incidence or reported Lyme disease cases.
Llodra said the town plans to go ahead with a public education campaign regardless of what it does about deer management.