Court rules in favour of Conservation Officer Service, but this isn’t the end

Court rules in favour of Conservation Officers, but this isn’t the end

A judge has dismissed The Fur-Bearers’ petition for judicial review regarding the Conservation Officer Service’s authority to kill wildlife that is neither in distress or posing a threat. But our work to seek legal remedies to protect the animals and hold government agencies accountable is far from over.

In his ruling, Justice G.C. Weatherill stated that, “In my view, the management of wildlife resources by conservation officers, as contemplated by the Wildlife Act, includes the authority to kill wildlife in circumstances broader than those set out in [Section 79 of the Wildlife Act].”

He also noted that “I find it inconceivable that the Legislature intended to restrict the wildlife management powers of officers to kill wildlife to those that are at large and are likely to harm.”

The case stems from the killing of an apparently orphaned bear cub found near Dawson Creek. Tiana Jackson, the resident who found the cub, had spoken with a wildlife rehabilitator who was prepared to accept the cub for evaluation, Conservation Officer Micha Kneller killed the cub before that could happen.

The Fur-Bearers are disappointed in the decision made by the court, and are exploring options and next steps with our legal counsel.

We thank all those who have assisted us in this case thus far, and encourage everyone to continue speaking out against inhumane, ineffective, or non-scientific policies and actions by government agencies as they relate to wildlife. If you’d like to make a donation to offestour mounting legal costs, please click here.

More to come soon.

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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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