Saturday, January 25, 2014

Oak Bay Mayor making it up as he goes along.

In September 2013 the Mayor and council of Oak Bay voted to proceed with a "pilot project" to clover trap/bolt gun 25 deer in their municipality.  Apparently the district of Oak Bay is unaware that they have no jurisdiction over wildlife that exist within their boundaries. Deer belong to the Province, and legally any group, any self governing body, must ask permission in the form of a permit from the Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations BEFORE making decisions about property that belongs to the provincial government.

During recent meetings with members of the public Mayor Jensen has attempted to mitigate the charges by deer advocacy groups and the BCSPCA that clover traps are cruel by suggesting that clover traps can be rigged with electronic devices to notify the killing contractor when deer enter traps, to reduce the time they spend suffering before being killed.  This technology has not been researched by any of the municipalities that have clover trap/bolt gunned deer in our province to date. Such a device would be very costly, each requiring a SIM card and subscription service to relay data back to a server. This would add approximately $200.00 per trap to the cost of the pilot project, and has not been discussed with provincial permitting offices. Mayor Jensen has also failed to inform the residents he spoke with that these devices would necessitate an increase to the $12,500.00 budget that has been allocated for this “pilot project" to kill 25 deer.
Are Oak Bay residents prepared to absorb the cost of another couple hundred dollars per deer to make it slightly less brutal, or would everyone rather see less expensive non-lethal management? Now that Mayor Jensen has opened this topic for conversation, perhaps he should have a meaningful dialogue about it with Oak Bay residents, if not the Province.

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