Friday, February 28, 2014

Anti-cull group’s blitz threatens local tourism

posted Feb 28, 2014 at 8:45 AM
"Do you want to bring your kids to the deer-killing capital of B.C. for spring break?" That's the message the Animal Alliance of Canada is promising to bring to Calgary newspapers if the City of Kimberley gives any indication that there will be more deer culls.
The City is currently culling 30 deer from Kimberley's urban deer population (see related story, page 5).
The Bulletin reached Liz White from the Animal Alliance in Toronto on Thursday.
White confirmed that a campaign is being put together to impact tourism in the Kootenays.
However, she says the campaign won't start yet as she has heard that the City of Kimberley voted not to invest any more money into deer culls and will invest $2,500 this year in education on wildlife conflict.
City CAO Scott Sommerville confirmed that the vote took place.
"During budget deliberations at our Committee of the Whole Meeting on Tuesday, February 25, Council recommended that staff not budget for future culls," he said. "In place of the funding that would have gone towards culls, $2,500 will be put towards educational programs. The first piece of education will be to inform schoolchildren of how to avoid conflict with deer during fawning and rutting seasons.
“The Urban Deer Advisory Committee will still make recommendations to Council on how to best deal with the urban deer issue.”
“The fact is they are moving in the right direction, but that could change on a dime,” White said. “If it does, we are looking at hiring a company to help us with a campaign to look at how we could impact tourists in Calgary. We will make it clear to Kimberley that is what we are going to do. It would be better if we could bring everyone to the table to reduce deer human conflict. If Kimberley had made the decision to not proceed with culls, it would be different.
“In the end Kimberley is the one community that has tried alternatives such as hazing. It’s clear there is interest on Council to have that happen. We could work together with Kimberley to make it a model community for a comprehensive policy.”
White says that killing 15 deer in Marysville and 15 in Chapman Camp isn’t going to make “a hill of beans of difference” in the human ungulate conflict issue.
“When you trap you don’t necessarily get the aggressive deer. I’ve got to ask, why spend money if it isn’t effective?”
But White says Animal Alliance is definitely prepared to go ahead with the ad campaign if Kimberley decides to keep culling as part of their management plan.
“If Kimberley decides to go with another cull, we have to ask parents if they want to bring their kids to Kimberley for spring break. I think we can make a pretty strong case to convince parents not to come. Do you really want to bring your kids to the capital of deer culls? I don’t think you do.”

Friday, February 21, 2014

Oak Bay fine jumps for feeding deer


Wildlife 2

Feeding deer in Oak Bay is going to get more expensive. Oak Bay councillors have agreed to increase the fine for feeding deer within municipal boundaries to $300 from $100 for a first offence. Fines for second and subsequent offences will be $500.

VICTORIA - Feeding deer in Oak Bay is going to get more expensive.
Oak Bay councillors have agreed to increase the fine for feeding deer within municipal boundaries to $300 from $100 for a first offence. Fines for second and subsequent offences will be $500.
It was felt that we needed to send a very strong message to anyone who is feeding deer, because it just makes the problem worse,” said Mayor Nils Jensen.
It also is very unhealthy for the deer, who get used to grain or whatever it is they are being fed and then are unable to go back to a more natural diet.”
The fine was set at $100 in 2010 when Oak Bay last amended its animal control bylaw to prohibit feeding the likes of deer, rabbits and raccoons. Since that time, staff have begun to tally the costs associated with deer removal and disposal, and have found that the costs merit a fine increase.
Jensen expects staff to bring back the bylaw amendments next week.
He said he has heard only anecdotal reports of people feeding deer.
The municipality disposed of about 40 deer in 2013 at an estimated cost of $130 each for a total of about $5,000.
So far this year, if we continue at the pace that’s been set halfway through February, we’re going to exceed the 40, and we might see as many as 50 deer killed, mostly on our roads,” Jensen said. “There have been as many as six this year where police have attended and had to put the animal down because of extreme injuries.”
Oak Bay is working with the Capital Regional District on a deer management strategy, endorsed by council last November, that will include a deer cull later this year. Part of the program includes public education, and updating of bylaws and bylaw enforcement, say municipal staff.
Before a cull is undertaken, the municipality will have to undertake a deer count and create a plan based on the count.
Under the deer cull, the municipality will partner with the CRD to have 25 deer trapped and killed, with the venison, hide, antlers and hooves going to Songhees First Nation. The cull could happen in the fall at the earliest, Jensen said.
The aim of the $12,500 initiative is to reduce the number of deer killed by automobiles and to appease residents who have long complained about deer taking over backyards, munching on garden shrubs and flowers, and devouring homegrown vegetables.
Oak Bay’s new fine structure is not out of line with those fines for feeding deer in other municipalities, according to a staff report. Fines in other municipalities include: Central Saanich, $250; Esquimalt, $100; Saanich, $100; Victoria, $300; Kimberley, $500; and Invermere, $100 for a first offence and $250 subsequently.
In Cranbrook, it’s not treated as a ticketable offence but, subject to prosecution with fines of up to $10,000 on conviction.
© Copyright (c) The Victoria Times Colonist

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Kimberley's cull delayed due to trap theft

 by  Carolyn Grant - Kimberley Daily Bulletin  
posted Feb 13, 2014 at 11:24 AM

The BC Deer Protection Society out of Invermere is hitting Kimberley with flyers this week as the City’s permitted cull has been delayed because of the theft of government-owned clover traps.

Kimberley Mayor Ron McRae confirmed that the cull hasn’t begun yet, primarily because of the incident  this week where the clover traps were stolen from the Ministry building in Cranbrook and some destroyed.
“We are still on track but we can’t proceed without the traps,” McRae said. “It’s not going to deter us but obviously it will slow us down.”
The traps are owned by the provincial government. McRae was planning to meet with a ministry representative Thursday afternoon to discuss the permit time frame.
The flyers label Kimberley as a good place to waste tax dollars on killing deer and calls Kimberley the deer culling capital of B.C.
Kimberley currently  has a permit to carry out a cull of up to 30 mule deer — 15 from Marysville and 15 from Lower Blarchmont/Chapman Camp. They also had a permit to remove 100 deer two years ago.
The BC Deer Protection Society is the same group which is involved in the law suit against the District of Invermere for their deer cull.
The flyers urge people to contact the mayor and tell him to stop the cull, giving out his direct line at city hall, his cell number and email.
McRae says that the flyers came to the City’s attention early this week. They were put up around town and also on the windshields of cars at the Civic Centre.
McRae says the flyers will be discussed with city staff and there will be some kind of response.
“In the meantime, the public needs to know what kind of tactics this group will go to to achieve their ends.”
Devon Kazakoff of the Deer Protection Society says that his group is simply trying to bring awareness to the citizens of Kimberley as the City embarks on another cull.
“The intent is to get the message out on what the city is planning to do and urge the Mayor not to go through with it.
“We’ve found out it won’t start until the 15th (February). We are hoping to raise awareness and get it stopped.”
Kazakoff says that the Deer Protection Society plans to be there in any community that tries to deal with deer in a way they consider inhumane.
“Last year in Cranbrook they tried to push a cull behind closed doors. We found out and got it out to the public. We got a public apology. A city councillor even said that it was wrong. It’s not right to try to hide from people.”

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Deer traps stolen in Cranbrook

February 11, 2014 · 12:41 PM
Police are investigating after 10 deer traps were stolen from a government compound in Cranbrook.
On Sunday, Feb. 9, police were called to the Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations compound on Industrial Road G in Cranbrook.
"The chain link fence surrounding the compound had been cut," said Cst. Kathy Forgeron.
All 10 clover traps were missing from the yard.
The traps had been transferred to Cranbrook on Feb. 4 from Elkford, where they had been used in the District of Elkford's cull. The traps are the property of the B.C. government and are loaned to municipalities when they receive a permit to cull deer.
Six of the 10 traps were quickly located in bush nearby the compound, but they had been burnt. One trap was found intact. Three others remain missing.
RCMP estimate the total value of the traps as approximately $17,000.
"Those found responsible could face charges of theft over $5,000 and wilful damage," said Cst. Forgeron.
Anyone who has information about this incident is asked to contact Cranbrook RCMP at 250-489-3471 or East Kootenay Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477).
A cull in Kimberley began on Feb. 1. The City of Kimberley had a permit to cull 30 deer.