The lawfulness of a Conservation Officer killing a bear cub is being challenged through a judicial review, initiated by The Fur-Bearers.
A judicial review is a process in which a judge can look at an administrative decision or action from within the government and potentially make an order that could affect policy in the future. This review relates to the decision to kill a black bear cub on May 6, 2016, and whether it was lawful.
Records show that on May 6, 2016, Officer Kneller informed by phone a concerned resident who had found an apparently orphaned bear cub that euthanasia would be required, a decision the Officer made prior to seeing or investigating the cub’s health. Despite a licensed rehabilitation centre indicating it could accept the cub, Officer Kneller killed the cub.
To date, all investigation of the original incident was conducted internally, by the Conservation Officer Service.
We recognize that the role and responsibilities of the Conservation Officer Service are difficult, and on a daily basis, difficult decisions must be made. But it is vital to the public interest that objective oversight and legal reviews of those – often lethal – decisions take place.
“We believe this action was outside the scope of a Conservation Officer’s authority under the Wildlife Act, specifically Section 79, which sets out when an officer may kill an animal,” says Lesley Fox, Executive Director of The Fur-Bearers in a news release. “It is paramount that the justice system hear this case to determine what this legislation allows, and what consequences that may have for the policies of the Conservation Officer Service moving forward.”
The Fur-Bearers have undertaken approximately $8,100 in costs associated with this case so far, and expect that figure to rise to nearly $10,000. Please consider making a gift to help us recover these costs and continue to advocate for the animals.