The twisting saga of a conservation officer who chose to break the rules and conserve, rather than kill, two innocent bear cubs, is underscoring the need for a full overhaul of our environmental systems.
Earlier today we updated you on the suspension of Conservation Officer Bryce Casavant who, along with the experts at North Island Wildlife Recovery Association, deemed the cubs weren’t habituated and could be successfully rehabilitated.
The Ministry of Environment has since lifted the ‘without pay’ portion of Casavant’s suspension, following public outcry. But they have remained steadfast in support of the policy that led to the entire drama beginning.
Too often, conservation officers react with lethal force to wildlife conflict. There are a great number of reasons for this, but chief among them is that the Ministry of Environment does not provided appropriate funding to on-the-ground responders; they do not review or conduct modern studies into non-lethal solutions; and policies are outdated.
It is time for this to change.
Our petition is calling on the Ministry of Environment to re-examine their funding formulas and listen to what the people of British Columbia are saying. This latest incident is truly showing that this existing concept of “conservation” is not acceptable, nor successful.
We would like to see CO Bryce Casavant rewarded, not punished for his decision. But more importantly, we want this broken system to be revamped to truly be about conservation, and protect our wild neighbours.
Work like our growing Living With Wildlife campaign is only possible with the support of monthly donors. Please consider become a monthly donor – for as little as $5 a month – and help us create a Canada that is truly fur-free.