British Columbia was in the news late last year for the incredible move to ban grizzly bear hunting province-wide. But the province is still no paradise for other animals. The B.C. government is quietly preparing to weaken a long list of hunting and trapping regulations, leaving cougars, wolves, black bears, and other wild animals exposed to hunters’ bullets and the cruel snap of a fur trap.
B.C. officials may hope that compassionate people will be too distracted by the grizzly hunting ban to notice that many other animals will suffer and die as a result of these disturbing regulatory changes. Not on our watch. Animal Justice has compiled a list of the regulations that are set to be gutted, and now you have an opportunity to comment on them before January 19.
Here’s a list of the disturbing changes:
- Extending the wolf trapping season on Vancouver Island, even though officials acknowledge they do not have solid evidence to indicate the health of wolf populations.
- Allowing hunters to chase cougars with dogs in the Okanagan Region after they have reached their cougar bag limit. The stated rationale for this is to allow hunters to train and exercise hunting dogs.
- Doubling the number of cougars who can be gunned down in the Peace Region, from one to two.
- Extending the spring black bear hunt in the Peace Region by two extra weeks.
- Allowing increased, year-round deer hunting on some parts of Vancouver Island, as well as increased elk hunting.
- Expanding turkey hunting on Vancouver Island and the Kootenay Region.
- Allowing hunting, without a permit, on Mayne Island.
- Extending the season for killing elk near Kamloops—from 10 days to 50 days.
- Allowing hunting in Silver Star Provincial Park, north of Kelowna. Currently, no hunting is permitted in the park.
- Extending the deer hunting on Saltspring and Gabriola Islands, from 10 days to 90 days.
- Creating a new mountain goat hunting season near Sleeping Chief Mountain.
- Removing a hunting ban on certain public lands in the Peace Region.
- Creating a new elk hunting season near Lower Cowichan.
- Allowing rocky mountain elk hunting in the Skeena Region.
- Allowing mountain elk hunting in the Perkins Peak and Cherry Creek areas.
- Expanding bighorn sheep hunting around Taseko Lakes.
- Allowing snowmobiles and ATVs to be used to hunt cougars, bears, and wolves in South Chilcotin.
- Allowing mountain goat hunting near Nahatlach River Provincial Park.
The government is accepting comments on the proposals until January 19. Here’s how to have your say:
- Visit the Hunting/Trapping Regulation website, and select “Login” at the top to register for your own BCeID account. (Tip: Choose the Basic BCeID option.)
- Follow the links above to leave your comments on the proposed new regulations. Let the government know that you oppose increased hunting and trapping, hunting in provincial parks, and harassing cougars with dogs.
- Email your B.C. MLA and politely ask them to speak up against increased hunting and harassment of wild animals.
When the B.C. government ended the grizzly bear hunt, they stated that gunning down innocent grizzlies was no longer socially acceptable. We agree. It’s also not socially acceptable to kill and chase cougars; trap wolves; allow a spring bear hunt; gun down goats, elks, turkeys, and sheep; and hunt in provincial parks. Please take action before it’s too late to protect these vulnerable animals from a brutal death at the hands of hunters and trappers.
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