An animal rights group in British Columbia says the provincial government jumped the gun by extending its wolf cull program in the province.
Laurie McConnell, director of Pacific Wild accuses B.C. of extending the wolf cull without any evidence it’s working to preserve any caribou herds.
She blames the province for ruining the territory
“They don’t have anywhere to go anymore that isn’t fragmented by oil and gas seismic lines, mining permits, logging and in the southeastern part of B.C. the snowmobile routes,” she says.
On Jan. 15, 2015, B.C. approved a five-year program to cull wolves, blaming them for declining caribou numbers.
At the end of January, the government of Premier John Horgan extended the program for another five years.
McConnell says more than 1,400 wolves have been killed.
“They find a wolf in key caribou territory and they dart it and put a collar on it,” she says. “We refer to it as a Judas collar because they follow the radio telemetry of that wolf back to its pack and then eradicate the pack from the air which is inhumane and it is not leading to caribou recovery.”
According to the Union of British Columbia Indian Chiefs, the decline of the caribou herd is the fault of colonial government practices and mismanagement.
In February, chiefs passed a resolution calling for a partial end to the wolf cull and demanded that the province hand over control of the territory’s wildlife to First Nations.
“UBCIC Chiefs Council urges the provincial government to stop imposing unilateral state decisions on wolf culling and caribou recovery, and to recognize that territorial management must be up to the proper Title Holders whose laws, jurisdiction, and legal orders must be recognized and upheld,” the resolution says in part.
“… protecting wildlife from any killing contests and unethical hunting and culling practices that oppose Indigenous traditional values, ways of life, and fundamental rights.”
UBCIC Kukpi7 Judy Wilson says the cull is the wrong approach.
“Hunting of the wolves, the clubbing of them, and the inhumane acts are not within keeping of our laws as Indigenous people so there has to be a better approach,” says Wilson. “And I know there will more consultation but just to renew the five-year wolf culling program that will see more slaughter isn’t really the answer.”
The province didn’t respond to APTN’s request for an interview.