EAST HAMPTON - The Village of East Hampton has unanimously voted in favor of a plan to bring in sharp-shooters to kill deer on the East End.

The move comes despite numerous angry objections of several speakers who came forward during a board meeting. An online petition bearing more than 8,000 signatures was also presented by the Wildlife Preservation Coalition of Eastern Long Island.

Opponents of the plan argue that birth control for the growing deer herds would be more effective than a mass killing.

However, proponents of the deer kill say that overpopulation is causing the spread of Lyme disease as well as numerous vehicular accidents. They add that the deer are eating all of the crops at farms and vineyards on the East End.

The USDA plan is to kill up to 9,000 deer in the next two years, starting in East Hampton and then spreading to towns across the North and South Forks.

The USDA estimates there are more than 25,000 deer on the East End.