The province of B.C. has spent the past 16 months to develop, seek input on, and further refine a wolf management plan.
An overwhelming response against the proposed plan was put forward by the public, as well as non-governmental organizations. Since the release of the plan April 17, scientists and conservationists have called the plan deeply flawed, saying it contains many scientifically unsound and uninformed objectives. It has been called sanctioned torturing, inhumane, primitive and brutal.
The published plan amounts to a government sponsored torture and kill program for wolves. It allows trapping of lactating females and does not meet international standards for humane trapping according to the B.C. Trappers Association. It allows baiting, shooting from helicopters, using neck snares that can catch animals by the neck, midsection, or a limb so the wire tightens as the animal struggles, resulting in a slow painful death.
Given the evidence that this kind of indiscriminate killing, combined with years of sterilization experiments, results in smaller and more unstable packs that lead to increased conflicts with humans, it is completely out of sync with protecting B.C.’s wilderness, cattle and caribou, as government would have us believe.
Despite B.C.’s relaxed hunting policies, as well as hiring of trappers to kill wolves, despite government having engaged in sterilization experiments and government control kill for more than a decade, government officials admit these programs have not resulted in any measurable benefits for caribou despite nearly all the wolves being killed in caribou recovery area.
The only way to truly protect caribou as well as all wildlife is to set aside large tracts of wilderness where animals can live according to their nature. The only way to protect privately-owned cattle grazing on provincial Crown land is for ranchers to shepherd their animals, not to kill all wild animals who live in that habitat.
The restoration of wolves in Yellowstone National Park is proof that wolves benefit ecosystems. According to Sadie Parr, of Wolf Awareness, “Wolves maintain biodiversity and balance and contribute to critical natural processes such as carbon storage, disease control, stream morphology, vegetation growth, mesopredator control, and more.”
If wolves and other wild animals are to continue to exist in B.C., it is time for B.C. to start conserving instead of killing.