The senseless trophy killing of Takaya, the ‘lone wolf’ made famous by his stay on Discovery Island, once again brings to the fore the full-spectrum persecution of Canis lupus in British Columbia.
BC’s wolves are killed through a variety of means, most of which are gratuitous, inhumane and unethical. These include legal hunting and trapping, as well as government sanctioned culling, the latter using such techniques as aerial gunning and neck snares.
In British Columbia, the province estimates that some 1,200 wolves are killed on an annual basis for recreational purposes. Raincoast wildlife scientists and large carnivore experts Drs. Paul Paquet and Chris Darimont surmise that number is likely even higher given BC’s lax reporting requirements and lack of conservation enforcement capability.
BC’s Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development, the entity responsible for “wolf management,” admits that “much of the information the province’s wildlife managers obtain regarding wolf populations is anecdotal, with a reliance on public sightings and observations.”
In other words, BC’s lethal exploitation of wolves is not based on science. There are no reasonable ecological or economic reasons to kill wolves. Moreover, there are clearly no tenable ethical reasons to induce such harm and suffering.
Wolf management policy, borne within unaccountable ministry bureaucracies, that permits activity that is so misaligned with commonly held societal values requires immediate attention by our elected representatives, who are accountable to you, the public.
Although concealed under a smokescreen of scientific wildlife management, regulations that attempt to legitimize a behaviour so grossly misaligned with societal values ought to be challenged, and vigorously. This strategy was central to the eventual ban on the grizzly bear trophy hunt in BC. With Takaya as our Cecil the Lion, this moment will come for wolves. Takaya’s death should not be in vain. I’m encouraging everyone to contact Minister Doug Donaldson and Minister George Heyman to let them know it is time to stop the hunting and trapping of BC’s wolves.