EAST HAMPTON (CBSNewYork/AP) — East Hampton Village has a new plan to control the deer population.

Officials believe the surgical sterilization of female deer is the best solution to its population problem, calling it a good middle ground between killing the animals and doing nothing.

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But not everyone agrees.

“I’ve had Lyme disease several times and it’s just horrible,” one resident told WCBS 880’s Mike Xirinachs. “We should just kill the deer. We need to do it now.”

Earlier this year, both the town and village of East Hampton and other municipalities opted out of a plan that called for trained sharpshooters to kill deer across eastern Long Island, which would eliminate about 10 percent of the deer population.

The cull was dropped following protests and a court challenge by animal welfare advocates, hunters and others.

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Federal, state and local officials have said the deer are significantly damaging vegetables and other crops in the state’s highest producing agricultural county.

They say the deer also are responsible for hundreds of annual motor vehicle accidents and are carriers for ticks that spread Lyme disease.

The village expects to spend about $130,000 for the sterilization program, which equals about $1,000 a deer, Xirinachs reported. It is set to begin in January.

Other communities in Westchester have used a similar program to control the deer population.

Hastings-on-Hudson implemented a technique called immunocontraception. Deer are tranquilized, tagged and injected with birth control that prevents deer from becoming pregnant for two years.

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