Family of four killed by farmer: mixed messaging on Grizzlies coming from province

How the province of BC views grizzly bears is growing more confusing following the announcement that a dairy farmer will be prosecuted for killing a family of four on his property.

The CBC today reported that the farmer was charged with multiple violations, including killing wildlife out of season, failure to report killing wildlife, and unlawful possession of dead wildlife, following an incident on his Dunster property in 2014. A Conservation Officer stated that Grizzly bears are a threatened species in British Columbia, so that the loss of a sow and her three cubs is “significant.”

But the main concern for this threatened species is then explored by what it will mean for the controversial – and much despised – trophy hunting of bears in the province.

The provincial government states that grizzly bears are threatened, and they need to be protected; yet they allow for an ongoing hunt. Is it possible that the mixed messaging could have led to a farmer killing a family to protect livestock or property against a perceived threat?

It’s a tough question that the government needs to look at. And it’s one we need to have around our kitchen tables, classrooms, or coffee shops. It’s time for us to make it a political issue before the next election. Please talk to your local MLA – or candidate – in BC and make it clear that the treatment of grizzly bears, as well as other wildlife, matter to you. And it will matter in the voting booth.

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The Fur-Bearers is a national non-profit based in Vancouver. It was formed in 1953 and advocates on behalf of fur-bearing animals in the wild and in confinement, and promotes co-existence with wildlife. More about our history and campaigns can be found at

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