Monday, December 12, 2016

Provincial dollars a big win for municipalities, says NDP candidate, Invermere mayor

3 Interior B.C. communities get provincial funding for urban deer culls

Provincial dollars a big win for municipalities, says Invermere mayor

By Matt Meuse, CBC News Posted: Dec 11, 2016 5:00 PM PT

Three B.C. municpalities will recieve provincial funding to manage their urban deer populations. (JL1967/Flickr)

The province is putting up more than $56,000 for urban deer management in Interior B.C. — an important jurisdictional victory for municipalities, according to the mayor of Invermere.
Invermere is getting $10,200 to help cull its urban deer population. Grand Forks is getting $16,000 and Elkford is getting $10,000.
Cranbrook is getting nearly $20,000 for a pilot relocation program.
Gerry Taft, mayor of Invermere, says the money is a win for cities because it's an acknowledgement from the province about its responsibility for the deer.
"We always need permission from the province [to cull or relocate deer]," Taft said. "We always felt that the province should be at the table as the funders, that they should be helping to fund these solutions."

Relocation programs tested

Taft said the funding is on a per-deer basis, with the province doling out $200 per deer. He says that covers most of the cost of the cull, but not all of it.
Invermere has been culling its urban deer population since 2011. Taft says the city's strategy has changed significantly since then; the initial goal was to reduce the population as much as possible, but the city now takes a more strategic approach, culling a smaller number but focusing on especially problematic areas.
The city has also experimented with relocation programs, tagging and moving 13 deer out of the city in 2016.
Taft says the results were mixed. The deer took to the relocation better than expected, but several have already ended up back in town.
"They were moved over 50 kilometres away from Invermere into the backcountry, [but] at least four of those deer have returned to Invermere," he said.

Humans to blame

Wild animal culls are always contentious issues, and Taft says Invermere is no exception.
He said the relocation program shows some promise as an alternative to culling, but the costs might be prohibitive if so many of the deer return to the city anyway.
But Taft says problems with urban deer are, at their core, just as much about humans as about the deer themselves.
To that end, Taft hopes the cull will have the secondary effect of making people realize that their own actions are putting deer at risk — things like feeding deer or leaving garbage unsecured.
"It's about what humans are doing and the behaviour of humans that are attracting deer and allowing them to thrive and stay in these urban environments," he said.
With files from CBC Radio One's Radio West.

Saturday, December 10, 2016

Birth control plan for Oak Bay deer hits snag

Province balks at funding untested contraceptive scheme to reduce deer population
By Deborah Wilson, CBC News  Posted: Dec 09, 2016 7:10 PM PT

A plan to put deer on birth control in the Victoria suburb of Oak Bay has hit a snag.

Oak Bay Mayor Nils Jensen says the B.C. government is calling for more study before it will consider sharing the cost for the plan.

Last month, Oak Bay Council asked for $20,000 from the province.

Communities elsewhere in the province have received provincial funding for deer culls.

"We appear to be the only community in British Columbia at this point that are looking at a non-lethal alternative to cull for deer management," Jensen said.
"Should Oak Bay go forward with a successful fertility control program it can become a model for the rest of the province."

In 2015, Oak Bay tried a deer cull to reduce the deer population. The regional deer management pilot project killed 11 deer but drew strong opposition from the B.C. SPCA and other animal rights groups.

Contraceptive injection proposed

The current plan is to partner with a local stewardship group to trap and inject female deer with an immunocontraceptive serum.

Provincial staff say only one contraceptive drug has ever been used in B.C.and it's not currently in production, so a safe alternative needs to be identified for black-tailed deer.

Other details that need to be worked out include specifics on methods to capture the deer and administer the drug.

Jensen said Oak Bay plan should get conditional approval as a pilot project.

"These urban deer are owned by the province," Jensen said.  "They really have shown a reluctance in the last few years to really do something about it."
To be effective, Jensen said the deer fertility-control program must start three or four months before mating season in September and October.

If financial support from the province is not forthcoming, he said, the fertility-control project won't proceed.

Culls, relocation approved elsewhere

"We'd have to go back to the drawing board for council," he said.
"Our proceeding to this point was conditional on a joint province-local government initiative."

Grand Forks, Invermere and Elford have received provincial funds for deer culls. Cranbrook will also receive funds to study relocation.

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Oak Bay to be a partner in deer contraception plan

Bill Cleverley / Times Colonist
November 16, 2016 06:00 AM

Friday: A young buck stops for a quick snack as he makes his rounds on Rockland Avenue. Photograph By BRUCE STOTESBURY, Times Colonist 

Oak Bay plans to partner with the Urban Wildlife Stewardship Society to run a deer contraception program in the municipality.
“The hope of the program is that it will reduce the herd in Oak Bay,” Mayor Nils Jensen said Tuesday.
Oak Bay council has agreed to apply to the province for matching funds up to $20,000 to contract with the society to “implement a deer-reduction plan using fertility control.”
“We’re very pleased [with the decision],” said society president Kristy Kilpatrick.
She said details are being formulated so it is too early to say how many deer might be targeted for vaccination.
“I think the most important aspect of the motion [Monday] night was that we are now able to undertake a deer management program under the provincial definition of a research project, and that this is potentially going to provide another tool for communities who engage in urban deer reduction to do it in a humane, non-lethal way,” Kilpatrick said in an email.
The deadline for the application is Nov. 22.
The last-minute motion for the deer plan was brought forward by Coun. Tara Ney.
Created in 2015, the Urban Wildlife Stewardship Society includes current and former educators, retired biologists, civil servants and working professionals. It has been lobbying for a science-based alternative to killing deer and favours controlling deer numbers through the use of SpayVac, a contraceptive vaccine.
A survey of Oak Bay residents found that deer were top of mind for many Oak Bay residents. “We saw the results of the survey were quite clear that people felt that there was an overpopulation of deer in Oak Bay,” Jensen said.
Typically, through a deer contraception program deer would be trapped in a modified clover trap. The does would be tagged, inoculated and released.
In 2015 Oak Bay sparked a wave of protests when it conducted a deer cull. Only 11 deer were killed over a 16-day period.
Jensen said when it was examining its options for deer control two years ago it was told by the province that contraceptive control was not an option and would not be approved.
“We were also told that there was no serum available in Canada at that time. So we didn’t have that as an option for consideration at that time,” Jensen said. “My position all along is we need to reduce the herd. Full stop.
“Again, that was something we saw in the results of the survey and if this is successful then it will meet that objective,” he said.
The matter will be back before councillors Monday to finalize details, Jensen said.
Jensen said there’s no question the number of deer is on the rise. Eight years ago, vehicle collisions involving deer were rare in Oak Bay. This year the municipality is on track to haul away 50 deer carcasses, he said.

Friday, October 7, 2016

'They shot them all'

The waters of wildlife management and protection are so muddy even provincial employees and directors don't know where responsibilities lie in decision-making processes. Email them about responsibilities and/or accountability and you will be as confused as they are. Add wildlife as agricultural animals to the confusion, and you see a recipe for disaster.

On Thursday, October 6, 2016 twenty seven deer were gunned down on a deer farm in Vernon, BC. The wildlife veterinarian for the Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations ordered the killings, saying “As far as the animals are concerned, the case is closed.” Ms Schwantje “who works with a number of government ministries” is a consultant with the Ministry of Agriculture when that ministry has no clear guidelines.

Wildlife as agricultural animals are in a dangerous position while Ministeries shuffle responsibility. The result on October 6 was the mass slaughter of 27 animals by gunfire.

Kate Bouey - Oct 7, 2016 / 9:15 am

An Enderby farmer is blasting the “heavy handedness” of government for shooting dead almost all of the deer on his property, Thursday. A ministry veterinarian confirmed the action.
“It was a circus here,” said Richard Yntema of Valley Wide Meats, who owns Rivers Bend fallow deer farm. “What they did was total cruelty.
“They thought they could use tranquillizer guns, but they got tired and they blasted away. I lost track after 75 rounds were fired."
Yntema said the officials included members of the B.C. Conservation Officers Service and the ministries of Environment and Forests, Lands and Natural Resources.
The farmer admitted he had failed to comply with regulatory issues under the Game Farm Act.
Yntema said he believes the main issue has been old trees falling on fences that allowed some deer to escape onto neighbouring properties.
“Certain ministries allowed my neighbours to shoot them at will. I don't know which ministries,” Yntema said.
He points directly at officials from the Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resources for Thursday's slaughter.
“They ran out of ammunition and then asked the Conservation Officers Service if they could use theirs,” Yntema said.
“It was basically a police lockdown. They harrassed my customers and put a checkpoint on my driveway.
“They drove over my crops, damaged fences and some pipes. I'm told I can file a claim for compensation, but I have no idea who to talk to.”
A B.C. government wildlife veterinarian confirmed that 27 deer were shot by officials yesterday while two females were successfully removed alive.
"This farmer used to have a permit under the Game Farm Act for holding fallow deer but ownership has reverted under the Wildlife Act," said Helen Schwantje, who works with a number of government ministries. "Conservation officers were mandated to enforce the act and went in with a warrant."
Biologists and officials from Ministry of Agriculture were also present with the job of removing the deer, Schwantje said.
“Our concern was that these animals would escape and set up a population in the area and damage the habitat. We wanted to make sure we dealt with it before it got any worse.”
Schwantje said capturing any deer is an “incredible challenge” and fallow deer are extremely skittish.
While the goal had been to capture the animals alive with anesthetic darts, only two females were successfully tranquilized and removed while 27 others were shot dead, she confirmed.
“There was no way to herd them safely onto a trailer. We were really stuck.”
The farmer had been given opportunities to remove the animals to a licenced establishment, Schwantje said.
“Unfortunately this man has not been in compliance” with the regulations, she said, adding that the deer had been allowed to escape and there had been complaints from neighbours and some habitat damage.
As far as the animals are concerned, the case is closed, said Schwantje.
She said any charges against the farmer would come from the Ministry of Agriculture or the Conservation Officers Service.

Saturday, October 1, 2016

A Leading Survey from Oak Bay

Oak Bay conducted a Satisfaction and Priorities telephone survey of 400 residents recently, followed up by an online survey, now available until October 21, 2016.

Buried in the online Satifaction and Priorities Survey's many questions regarding parking and recreational opportunities are one to three questions concerning urban deer.  Answering “no” to the question “Do you feel there is an overpopulation of deer in the District of Oak Bay?” will take you to questions concerned with other topics.  

Answering “yes” will bring up this window:

Answer “strongly support” (or possibly any other multiple choice answer; our researcher did not attempt other answers) and you will receive this window:

In contrast, volunteers began delivery of a Deer Activity survey on October 1, 2016 to 1,100 households for the city of Esquimalt. Developed by an independent consultant, the 24 question survey “will help determine the extent of deer activity in the community, and residents' perceptions and attitudes regarding deer.”

The Esquimalt survey may be returned via postage-paid envelope, or online using a unique number on each paper version delivered to households, ensuring that the survey may only be taken once, and only by Esquimalt residents.

Results are scheduled to be presented to council at their December 12, 2016 Committee of the Whole meeting.

Saturday, August 20, 2016

The Hunting Revenue the BC Liberals Don't Brag About

Most British Columbians would have no reason to peruse the Ministry of Forest, Lands and Natural Operations website to look up their Hunting and Trapping Synopsis.  That's because most British Columbians don't kill wildlife for fun and profit.

The following are some of the advertisements from the 2014-2016 Hunting and Trapping Synopsis that the BC Liberals have received revenue from.  The claim that hunters are conservationists who care very deeply about the animals that they target falls on its face with the very first advertisement.

Friday, August 19, 2016

Dog Caught in Leghold Trap on Vancouver Island

Pets caught in leghold traps is a more common occurrence than most realize, rarely covered by mainstream media. Lynne Cracknell, whose dog was injured by a leghold trap near Campbell River, BC, was not expecting to be wrestling her pet out of a vice-like trap when she was out of a walk in February.

Her horrific experience didn't end there.  At her meeting with Conservation Officer Steve Petrovic she learned that trapping wolves on Vancouver Island is more prevalent than the public knows, and the rights of the trapper (not wildlife, not public safety) is the focus of BC's conservation office.

This is her story.

Saturday, June 25, 2016

Conservation Officer Destroys Black Bear Cub

The first in a series regarding the BC Liberals' attitudes toward BC wildlife.  A picture will emerge of a government with a cavalier attitude towards those who are considered a "resource," and the favours they do for hunting friends who have found a source of income - killing urban deer.

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Oak Bay cuts $30,000 for deer management from budget

In a 4-3 vote, Oak Bay has dropped $30,000 for deer management from its budget.
“It really means that in 2016 there will be no deer management program in Oak Bay, and we’ll have to see what we do for 2017,” Mayor Nils Jensen said.
Instead, the municipality will budget $10,000 for a public survey on attitudes and awareness of urban deer and any leftover costs from last year’s deer management program.
Jensen and councillors Hazel Braithwaite and Kevin Murdock were in favour of a $30,000 budget item to create a yet-to-be-defined municipal deer management program, while councillors Tom Croft, Michelle Kirby, Tara Ney and Eric Zhelka were opposed.
Council had previously accepted the principle that the municipality had a role to play in urban deer management in partnership with the province, Jensen said.
In 2015, Oak Bay conducted a cull of deer, which prompted protests and saw 11 deer trapped and killed over a 16-day period.

In 2015, Oak Bay conducted a cull of deer, which prompted protests and saw 11 deer trapped and killed over a 16-day period.   Photograph By BRUCE STOTESBURY, Times Colonist

Saturday, March 26, 2016

Divided council agrees to manage deer

By Christine van Reeuwyk – Oak Bay News
posted Mar 25, 2016 at 9:00 AM

Whatever a plan may look like, Oak Bay will tackle deer in its boundaries.
In a lengthy conversation surrounding a grant request for the Urban Wildlife Stewardship Society’s proposed Deer Plan Oak Bay, Coun. Kevin Murdoch nailed down the answer to a question he presented in January.

Sitting as committee of the whole, with Mayor Nils Jensen and Coun. Eric Zhelka participating via conference call, council agreed to pursue deer management “in partnership with the province.”

The second portion of the motion, which is a recommendation to council and would require adoption, refers to the responsibility for deer, which falls under the purview of the province.

It’s the main reason Coun. Michelle Kirby opposed the motion. “We’re at capacity,” she said, reiterating her stance the province should tend to its deer.  Zhelka also opposed the deer philosophy following nearly three hours of discussion.

“We’re turning our back on science,” Zhelka said.

In a bid for funding, UWSS board member Ralph Archibald outlined the society’s proposed Deer Plan Oak Bay during the March 21 meeting.

The five-point multi-year plan includes: effective public education, population model, survey of attitudes, deer abundance estimation and immune-contraception. The 2016 budget would require $38,000 funding from Oak Bay and $20,000 potentially available through the Ministry of Forests lands and Natural Resource Operations. Though the application deadline has long passed, municipal staff indicated the province seemed positive at the concept of an Oak Bay proposal.

The cost to the district for the entire five-part proposal for 2016 would be about $38,250.

Assuming $20,000 annual funding from the province, UWSS would need $27,500 a year from 2017 to 2020 from Oak Bay.

“We believe we’d see a reduction in human/deer conflict,” Archibald said. “We believe this would be positive action. there would be very little draw on staff time.”

Murdoch posed the question: “How do we determine the right number of deer?”

“The right number of deer will be defined by the citizens,” said Archibald.
“We don’t know the answer to the question because we haven’t asked it (of the community). There may not be a need for us to do anything. That’s a possibility,” he added. “We’re not in a position to say at this time … that there is categorically a need to reduce the number of deer that are here.”

That sentiment troubled Jensen, who contends the ecological damage alone signifies a need to reduce the number of deer in the community.

Bryan Gates, president of UWSS, suggested Oak Bay could be at “biological carrying capacity” – the maximum population the environment can sustain indefinitely.

“We have no evidence this population is growing, we have no evidence it’s declining. I believe we’re at biological carrying capacity,” he said. “We would like to work with you for the scientific information.”

Coun. Tara Ney, who felt the proposal was “well thought out, and it makes good common sense,” moved that Oak Bay contract UWSS to conduct a sampling survey of attitudes in the community at a cost of $17,250.

Jensen asked, and Archibald confirmed, if information and survey suggested a cull is warranted and wanted, the society would not support that.

“We want to know all the options are possible,” Jensen said, adding that includes relocation and cull as well as immune-contraception. He also voiced concern over perceived bias should the society, a proponent of immuno-contraception, be contracted to conduct the survey.

The contracting motion failed and wasn’t followed up by any other suggestions regarding UWSS funding. However, council, sitting as committee, agreed unanimously to have staff bring back a “high-level report” costing out an attitudes survey during Estimates where they discuss budget.

“This does not mean we’re not partnering with UWSS at all,” Murdoch said in response to Zhelka’s concerns.

Estimates meetings are scheduled for April 6 and 13 at 5:30 p.m. at municipal hall 2167 Oak Bay Ave. The next council meeting is Tuesday, March 29 at 7 p.m.

Oak Bay council has agreed to manage deer, but what that will look like is still unclear.
— image credit: Jennifer Blyth/Oak Bay News

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Overstepping a School District's Responsibility

Following the trap and kill urban deer cull in Cranbrook this January, DeerSafe has become aware that a letter signed by the Chair of School District #5, Frank Lento of Fernie, was sent to four Kootenay town councils and copied to several ministers and the Premier on February 10, 2016.

Bringing the deer hysteria in this province to a new level, the letter claims that “one of these incidents will culminate in student injury or casualty in the future.”

Provincial health and safety protocols are in place when human life is endangered by wildlife with a phone call to the Conservation Office. An incident at Eileen Madsen Primary School in Invermere indicates that the staff of at least one school in the district knew what to do, and Conservation Officers attended the school the next day.

“There have been three incidents where students were either brought indoors or moved to a different part of the playground because of deer not leaving the area, said Paul Carriere, superintendent for School District 6, stressing that the moves were made as precautionary measures, not because students were in any immediate danger.” (“Recess cancelled due to deer” Columbia Valley Pioneer, February 24, 2012).

Do the teachers and parents in School District #5 know that this letter was sent on their behalf? What is the status of the school district's public education regarding how students and staff should behave around ungulates? Has a notice gone out to parents advising them to talk to their children about feeding deer while at school?

Friday, February 12, 2016

Deer discussion delayed to March

By Christine Van Reeyuwyk
February 11, 2016 · Updated 4:03 PM

Council’s conversation on deer is rescheduled for its March committee of the whole meeting after council deemed the February agenda too full.
The subject of deer had been tentatively suggested for the Feb. 15 meeting when council also plans to discuss the Uplands sewer separation project and the final stages of an age-friendly strategy.
“When we have deer on the agenda, that tends to be filled with lots of input and lots of views,” said Oak Bay Mayor Nils Jensen.
Options were to add it to the Feb. 22 council meeting or put the conversation over to March.
Coun. Eric Zhelka made a bid to have a portion of the topic discussed during Monday’s meeting in an effort to apply for a government grant to start on a portion of the Oak Bay proposal by the Urban Wildlife Stewardship Society.
The Provincial Urban Deer Operational Cost Share Program provides financial support to local governments this fiscal year within their jurisdiction.
Eligible projects could be operational activities or research trials. The province indicates research includes trials in translocation and immuno-contraception which is a major component of the UWSS proposal.
The UWSS Oak Bay Deer Management Plan includes a “survey of community attitudes” drafted by the society’s scientists and reviewed by an expert. The survey is “shovel-ready” and eligible for matching funds as a first, essential step toward a larger deer management program in the municipality, said vice-president Kristy Kilpatrick in a letter.
While content with pushing the discussion to March, Coun. Tara Ney agreed components of the UWSS program could be plucked out and offered as a shovel-ready program in a grant application. “I am disappointed if we can’t find a way to get an application in to the province,” Ney said.
With the bid to have the survey discussed Feb. 15 defeated, Zhelka urged council to consider asking the UWSS to have the paperwork in place with the survey funding in mind. Other members around the table questioned whether staff would have time to aid in the application, which must come from local government, and whether the proposed survey would be applicable as deer-reduction research.
Ney argued it “could be seen as part of an action research project.”
Rushing the process to get a grant could backfire, said Coun. Kevin Murdoch.
“It’s probably worthwhile having some public input,” he said. “I don’t think it should be shoehorned in … If it’s not where we want to go as a council, it’s not money well-spent.”
The deadline to apply was Jan. 8 however, the province has indicated late applications would be considered. The program runs to March 31.
Council opted to put the entire discussion over to the March 21 committee meeting, 7 p.m. at municipal hall 2167 Oak Bay Ave.

Friday, January 22, 2016

Ron Kerr's recent letter regarding Cranbrook deer cull

Ron Kerr has taken issue with Gerry Warner's open letter to Cranbrook which criticized their latest secret cull, speculating: “I wander (sic) if he gave any thought to the fact that to get those videos they probably had to trespass on private property in the guise of secrecy.”

For two years the BC Deer Protection Society has taken out full-paged advertisements in local papers in several communities asking for permission to enter neighbouring properties to observe the cull, even sending out postcards to 3,600 households in Oak Bay.  Residents have been asked to film permit violations.  During the January 2014 deer cull in Elkford residents contacted the BCDPS with photographs to report a violation of the permit by the contractor Carmen Purdy, who was trapping during daylight hours, necessitating an investigation by MFLNRO.  This January Cranbrook residents observed two permit violations, documented them, and sent video and photographs to our Society.

Ron Kerr made an easy $16,000 when he came to Oak Bay to kill eleven deer in January 2015.  A FOI request reveals that he was the only applicant for Oak Bay's Request for Proposal. The cull was “completed without a hitch” not because of citizen complicity but because the properties chosen could only be secured in a rich municipality like Oak Bay.  Mayor Jensen himself admitted to media that although several residents had offered their properties to traps it was decided that they were not “private” enough.  Only the most affluent of Oak Bay residents could receive taxpayer-funded clover traps.  As evidenced by events in the smaller municipalities of BC, clover trap/bolt gun culls are easily observed, and they are as cruel to residents as they are to deer.

On October 14, 2015 Oak Bay police were called at 7:30 pm to respond to shots fired.  A white minivan with a sliding side door was reported to have pulled up to a small group of deer on a boulevard in the in the tony neighbourhood of Uplands, Oak Bay, and opened fire. 

If violence towards urban wildlife becomes an accepted method to deal with urbanite complaints, we will raise future generations to accept that violence is the way to deal with our problems.  Urban deer culls are affecting many municipalities in BC.  Ron Kerr came to my region to kill eleven deer and left without detection.  It's my hope that this letter will end the accusation that “outsiders” are interfering with local issues. 

Kelly Carson
President, BC Deer Protection Society

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Former Cranbrook Councilor Slams Current Mayor and Council

A challenge to apologize

Published January 19, 2016
Letter to the Editor
Say it ain’t so, Cranbrook city hall!
I still have difficulty believing that mayor, city council and CAO would approve a clandestine deer cull (kill) in-camera without the taxpayers knowledge while telling the public they were going to translocate deer instead of killing them. Then carry out the cull spending taxpayers’ money doing it – and at the same time – accept plaudits from the many opposed to the cull including the Animal Alliance of Canada who offered to donate $10,000 to the translocation program.
Then when their sleazy, deceitful act was exposed in a video – yes, a YouTube video! – by the animal rights people and questioned by the media they stick their haughty noses in the air and say they don’t discuss sordid deeds like this in the media!
But unless the sun has started rising in the west and setting in the east this is apparently what they did. And once again Cranbrook’s name has been darkened from coast-to-coast-to coast. In his play Hamlet, Shakespeare says “something is rotten in the state of Demark.” Well, I’m going to update the Bard and say unequivocally that “something is rotten at Cranbrook City Hall” and it’s time these representatives of the people fessed up.
And oh yes, I have special knowledge of this situation and know how difficult an issue the deer situation is because I was a city councillor myself in the previous administration and foolishly made the same mistake myself of approving a deer cull in-camera without telling the people. But when our council got caught in the act, I admitted what we had done, apologized to the public and condemned council for what it had done starting with myself first.
Never again, I said, and it didn’t happen again during that council’s term. Instead we did surveys and studied the problem, which didn’t do a hell of a lot of good either. But at least we didn’t hide behind the public’s back. So I challenge this council, the mayor and the CAO to do the right thing and apologize publicly to the citizens of Cranbrook for your perfidy. In the circumstances, it’s the least you can do.
Gerry Warner,

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Deer Protection Society files complaint

Posted: January 13, 2016,

The BC Deer Protection Society (BCDPS) Jan. 8 filed a complaint to the Minister of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations about incidents involving fawns in clover traps.
“In mid-December 2015, Cranbrook began to cull deer without notification to area residents. The only public notification came from the BC Deer Protection Society and Animal Alliance of Canada in an ad that ran in the Cranbrook Townsman prior to the start of the cull,” the BCDPS stated in a January 12 press release.
“The incidents show the cruelty of the cull, captured through photographs and video footage. Two incidents in particular reveal violations of the terms of the cull permit issued by the minister. Footage for one incident shows a fawn captured in a trap (unedited video documents the fawn pacing for over two hours). The cull contactors arrive, collapsing the trap on the animal and applying the bolt gun. The cull contractors stand and the fawn moves. They apply the bolt gun a second time. The fawn moves again as the contractors try to erect the trap. They drop it and observe the fawn. One contractor starts to reach for the bolt gun but stops. They proceed again to erect the trap and drag the fawn away by the hind leg. In both cases the fawn is seen moving,” the BCDPS described.
“The cull contractor returns immediately leaving the fawn still alive and unattended. A total of six minutes passed between the arrival of the contractors and the removal of the deer ( Photographs from a second incident show two fawns entangled in a trap that has collapsed on them (pictured above). They remain entangled and compressed for at least two hours prior to the arrival of the cull contractors. It is not known at this time whether the fawns’ struggle was so violent as to dislodge the mechanism holding the trap upright or whether the mechanism was faulty.
“Regardless, no one checked the trap during that two-hour period to end the suffering of these two animals. ( In the letter to the minister, we urge him in the strongest possible terms to end the cull, conduct a full investigation of the violations of the permit and lay charges where appropriate. In addition, we ask that the permit for the current contractor be revoked until the investigation is complete,” the BCDPS release concluded.
E-KNOW this morning contacted the City of Cranbrook for comment on the contents of the press release.
“Mayor (Lee) Pratt has indicated he doesn’t want to get into a debate through the media with Liz White or the Animal Alliance,” noted city Corporate Communications Officer Chris Zettel.
The BCDPS release is signed by Devin Kazakoff Liz White, Barry MacKay and Sherry Adams.
BCDPS image