BC Wolf Cull: New documents suggest BC using ‘Judas Wolves’

Intuitors / Sarah Ronald 2021

Header image courtesy of Sarah Ronald. Sarah is a mixed media animal artist based in British Columbia. View her work at www.sarahronald.com and on Instagram at @sarahronaldartist.

The Fur-Bearers has obtained new documents for the BC government’s wolf cull for 2021-2022 and its authorization for the next five years. These documents reveal the methods that government contractors are instructed to use to kill wolves in BC’s remote wilderness.

One of these methods is called the ‘Judas Wolf’. In 2016, the BC government denied using this method, but these new documents suggest the practice might be used as recent as this past winter. To expedite the killing of wolves, government contractors capture individual wolves and attach GPS tracking collars to them (this process is detailed in a previous blog post here).

Once collared, the contractors follow the so-called ‘Judas wolf’ in helicopters until he or she leads them to their pack. When the pack is spotted, contractors shoot the entire pack – but leave the collared wolf alive to repeat the process at a later time. This has been come to be known as the ‘Judas Wolf’, as this wolf involuntarily betrays their pack in getting killed.

The following document obtained by The Fur-Bearers is from a letter of authorization for predator reduction from 2021-2022 to 2026-2027.

Documents obtained through FOI by The Fur-Bearers

This method is unethical and inhumane, as the unfortunate wolves who are radio-collared witness their families shot in front of their eyes, only to have the same trauma inflicted upon them when the government contractors repeat the process. This cruel method is inconsistent with the government’s own policies which require methods of wolf killings to be humane.

Wolves are intelligent, sentient animals, with strong bonds that involve complex family units and social hierarchies. Packs can include multiple generations and extended families. They care for each other, learn and teach each other to hunt, and pass down critical knowledge that will allow young to survive and thrive in BC’s wilderness. To have a wolf’s family killed through forced betrayal is a deeply cruel and inhumane practice that calls into question the province’s values and principles that inform its approach to wildlife management.


We are calling on residents of BC to contact their MLAs to end the wolf cull. We have developed a page with everything you need to know about the wolf cull and how you can take action to end it.

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Established in 1953, The Fur-Bearers is a charitable, non-partisan organization whose goals are to end the commercial fur trade and promote solutions for wildlife coexistence in communities. Your donation is tax-deductible. Charitable registration number: 130006125RR0002

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