The community, which is part of the Regional Municipality of Morris, has a beaver control program in effect – often, these programs offer a reward or stipend for every animal killed, which is proven with an identifying piece – ears, paws or tails are common.
According to the Oxbow Herald police blotter, the RCMP officer responded to a call of a beaver on the main street at approximately 5:30 pm. Upon his arrival, the officer observed the beaver was suffering from multiple wounds and used his service pistol to euthanize the animal to prevent further suffering.
“Investigation has revealed that an adult male had attempted to kill the beaver and was actively trying to cut its tail off,” reported the Herald.
In a sickening twist, the man was charged under wildlife regulations with ‘hunting within 500 metres of a building without the building owner’s permission’ which carries a voluntary fine option of $480.
This kind of injustice is not the fault of the investigating officer, but of a system that does not truly recognize the potential for pain and suffering of all animals.
Cruelty legislation must be updated and revised, and officers across the country must be trained in recognizing acts of cruelty whenever they happen. That, coupled with ongoing education, is the only way to prevent these kinds of heinous acts in the future.
Photo by Kerri Martin