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Penticton  

Osoyoos mayor has animal group in flap

Osoyoos Mayor, Stu Wells, has drawn the ire of an animal rights group.

The Association for the Protection of Fur-Bearing Animals (APFA) is all in a flap after Wells suggested he would call on the province to be more lenient when it comes to handing out kill permits.

Wells made the comments as a way of dealing with the goose problem in the South Okanagan community.

He said he would look for support from other municipal leaders at next month's UBCM (Union of BC Municipalities) convention in Vancouver.

In a news release APFA stated it 'strongly opposes' wildlife culls claiming they are cruel, expensive, ineffective and don't address the root problem.

"BC Municipalities need a long-term wildlife strategy not a licence to kill," stated APFA Executive Director, Lesley Fox.

"The province needs to create a proper plan to help BC Municipalities address wildlife issues. Our communities need funding and support for education programs to increase people's tolerance and understanding of wildlife behaviour."

Fox says cities should be encouraged to adopt bylaws to minimize attractants such as garbage and intentional feeding.

The organization is calling on Wells to change his mind and instead pressure the UBCM to encourage the province to adopt a non-lethal urban wildlife plan.

APFA also urges people of the province to engage local politicians to support non-lethal options for wildlife control.

"While wildlife issues are supposedly a provincial jurisdiction, municipalities have been burdened with that responsibility for many years," says Fox.

"There are too many funding cuts and the lack of conservation officers means municipalities are largely on their own when it comes to addressing wildlife issues."



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