Pacific Wild decries BC wolf cull's continuation while matter is before the courts

237 BC wolves culled

Environmental group Pacific Wild says it's shocked to learn the B.C. government killed 237 wolves over the winter, despite the controversial cull being before the courts.

Calling it a "continued war on wolves," Pacific Wild said: “This government’s recent behaviour toward our wildlife shows a flagrant disregard for the role our courts have to play in ensuring the lawfulness and accountability of government’s actions and decisions.”

Pacific Wild filed court documents in 2020 alleging the cull program is unlawful due to it being contrary to wildlife regulations and contrary to federal aviation laws, as the animals are shot from the air.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, court dates have not been available, however.

“Our ability to have this matter heard in a timely fashion has been hampered by COVID-19 and difficulties in getting a hearing date,” says Rebeka Breder, lawyer for Pacific Wild. “We have literally made hundreds of calls to the court registry over a period of several months in attempts to get a hearing date. Our judicial system is failing our wildlife.”

Meanwhile, the group alleges the province rewrote regulations under the Wildlife Act "in an attempt to continue otherwise alleged unlawful activities – all before the courts could hear the matter or intervene."

"The result was another 237 wolves killed in 2021, while the judicial system was paralyzed, and people were restricted in their abilities to campaign, travel, and monitor government activities."

“We maintain, despite new regulations, that the wolf cull is unlawful. Pacific Wild has asked the courts to review the matter in its entirety, and we fully intend to proceed to a hearing,” said Breder.

Since 2015, B.C. has spent over $3 million on trapping and aerial snipers, killing more than 1,000 wolves in an effort to protect endangered caribou populations.

Pacific Wild notes a study published in the Journal of Biology and Conservation found the kill program has had no detectable effect on reversing the decline of the caribou.

More BC News