​Wolf management and the cull controversy
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Wolf management

Wolf management in B.C.

Wolf experts have criticized the B.C. government’s controversial Wolf Management Plan (PDF) and previous wolf culls in B.C. and Alberta. These culls use inhumane methods and lack scientific justification. The BC SPCA opposes culls when there is a lack of credible scientific evidence and/or it can’t be achieved humanely.

“Killing from helicopters, even by the most skilled marksman, causes excessive stress during chase and there is no way to confirm death was quick and painless,” says Dr. Sara Dubois, the BC SPCA’s chief scientific officer. Dubois states that culling can fracture pack social structures and create an ecological imbalance for other species in the area.

Photo by John E. Marriott

Killing wolves to save caribou?

“There is little evidence that removing all wolves in the area will allow the caribou population to recover and stabilize,” says Dubois. “It’s just a hope – too little too late.”

Dr. Dubois co-authored a 2013 study in B.C. (PDF) that found a majority of wildlife professionals and the general public did not agree that killing one species to save another (even if endangered) was ethical. This strategy does not solve the problem when habitat is at risk. Without reducing habitat fragmentation and human disturbance, the damage may already be irreversible.

Photo by John E. Marriott

Take action

  1. Contact your local MLA to voice your opposition to the wolf cull.
  2. Read five reasons to oppose B.C.’s wolf cull from Raincoast Conservation Foundation.
  3. Sign Pacific Wild’s petition to save B.C. wolves.
  4. Support organizations like Pacific Wild, Raincoast Conservation Foundation and Wolf Awareness to protect B.C. wolves.
Photo by Grayson Pettigrew

Proposed ban on the use of strychnine and other poisons to kill wolves

The federal government’s Pest Management Regulatory Agency conducted a consultation in 2019 on the use of three poisons for large vertebrate predators, like wolves. The BC SPCA submitted a response (PDF) supporting the inclusion of humaneness as a criteria for evaluating product approval. Despite significant feedback, Health Canada decided humaneness was not to be included in assessments.

Health Canada responded that in 2021, they would initiate a re-evaluation of strychnine, Compound 1080 (sodium monofluoroacetate), and sodium cyanide as a cluster, and will include humaneness in this re-evaluation. These poisons are widely acknowledged as inhumane, and result in the poisoning and death of non-target animals.

In early 2021, the BC SPCA asked the Canadian public to sign the federal e-petition 3047 to end the use of strychnine, Compound 1080, and sodium cyanide for killing wolves, bears, coyotes, and other large vertebrates. The petition received 8,929 signatures from Canadians across the country to call on the federal government to ensure wolves, coyotes, and bears are protected from inhumane deaths. The petition was read in the House of Commons in May 2021, and we look forward to the government’s response.