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It's time to change animal protection policies: activist group

Orphaned bear cubs (North Island Wildlife Awareness)

Activist group calling on the government to make changes to animal protection policies

VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – Another incident involving two bear cubs and a conservation officer who refused to kill the pair have a lot of people frustrated with treatment of BC wildlife.

The Association for the Protection of Fur-Bearing Animals has sent another letter to the minister of environment asking for changes to conservation habits.

Michael Howie with the group says enough is enough, it’s time for the government to re-think their attitude of what he calls the province’s ‘shoot, shovel, and shut up’ method.

“This situation which involves two adorable little twin cubs and the unfortunate suspension of a good conservation officer truly underscores a systemic problem right across the province, and in fact across the country when it comes to conservation.”

Howie says it’s time to look at some of the many solutions that don’t include killing the bears, and also what more can be done to prevent these situations from happening.

He says the knee jerk reaction to kill the animals is a direct result of a lack of funding, outdated policies, and the wilful ignorance within the ministry.

“Part of this is going to be re-vamping the policies based on modern and current science. You can’t keep using lessons from 50 years ago, old lumberjack tales to develop entire government policy.”

In the letter that was sent to Minister of Environment Mary Polak, the group says “communities in British Columbia, and around the world, have learned to live with wildlife through scientifically-backed non-lethal solutions for all matters of species.

Howie says the letter will probably be ignored, as the group has been trying to get in touch with the ministry for two years.