VICTORIA, BC, Jan. 11, 2018 /CNW/ - As the mule deer population continues to decline in the Kootenays, the Minister of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations & Rural Development (FLNRO) continues to promote culling as the only deer management option for east Kootenay municipalities. Both Cranbrook and Invermere have been issued cull permits and the culls are underway. However, to date, no permits for non-lethal deer management have been issued either to the City of Kimberley for a proposed relocation project or the District of Elkford for a deer hazing project.
"Hunting groups and the government have worked with The BC Deer Protection Society to pilot alternatives to killing mule deer in urban environments." said Liz White, Director Animal Alliance and spokesperson, BC Deer Protection Society (BCDPS). "The government needs to actively support these humane progressive initiatives rather than sitting back and ordering the killing of deer for simply being alive.
"I cannot understand why the Ministry has not issued a translocation permit to Kimberley," said Barry MacKay, Canadian Representative, Born Free USA and spokesperson BCDPS. "Kimberley participated in the previous translocation study and wants to try again. Why not support non-lethal alternatives?"
"The Ministry is forcing communities to kill deer and not target the animals that the communities say are problematic," said Jordan Reichert, West Coast Campaigner, Animal Protection Party of Canada. "Of the 15 deer killed by Cranbrook in 2016, 33% were not even "problem" animals. Invermere, for example, almost exclusively culls in the district works yard where there are fewer deer and no community complaints."
"The Ministry claims that the rationale for culling is to minimize risks to the public before accidents happen. However the current approach cannot ensure public safety and does not address community concerns. It just results in constant killing," said White.
The BC Deer Protection Society, Animal Alliance of Canada, Animal Protection Party of Canada and Born Free USA urge Minister Donaldson to place a moratorium on mule deer hunting and deer culls in the Kootenays, investigate the reasons for the decline in the mule deer populations in that region and study and research non-lethal methods for long term co-existence.
SOURCE Animal Alliance of Canada