Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Wildlife Group Challenges B.C.'S Interpretation of Law on Destroying Bears

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Wildlife Group Challenges B.C.'S Interpretation of Law on Destroying Bears

Article excerpt

Wildlife group challenges B.C. bear cub killing

--

VANCOUVER - A woman who found a black bear cub that was later killed by a conservation officer is accusing the British Columbia government of breaking its own law on the destruction of wild animals.

Tiana Jackson and the Association for the Protection of Fur-Bearing Animals have filed a court petition challenging the officer's decision to kill the cub near Dawson Creek in May 2016.

They argue the Wildlife Act prohibits officers from killing animals unless they pose a threat to people, property or wildlife. The province counters in court documents that the law gives wide discretion to officers to destroy animals.

"The province says there are no legal limits on the ability of conservation officers to kill animals," Arden Beddoes, a lawyer representing Jackson and the advocacy group, said outside court Wednesday.

"What we say is that ... the Wildlife Act actually directs that there are limits," he said. "If they're not a threat, the officer, we say, does not have authority to kill the animal."

Jackson found the apparently orphaned bear cub, which was about the size of a domestic cat, by the side of the road on May 6, 2016, the petitioners say in court documents.

She called RCMP, which contacted the conservation officer service. In the meantime, she and others caught the bear and brought it back to a dog pen on her property to keep it safe, the documents say.

They say Jackson received a call from conservation officer Micah Kneller, who told her he would come and kill the bear, even though she told him a wildlife rehabilitation centre was willing to take the cub.

"She was very upset," Beddoes told a B.C. Supreme Court judge at the start of a two-day hearing on Wednesday.

The petitioners are seeking an order directing the province to obey the law as they interpret it. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.