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Wolf Killing Loophole Needs Closing, Says Minister Conroy

Wolf Killing ‘Loophole’ Needs Closing, Says Minister Conroy

Wolf Killing Loophole Needs Closing
Photo by IanMcAllister/Pacific Wild

“Wolf Killing Loophole Needs Closing, Says Minister Conroy” is a summary that our own Barb Murray wrote to introduce a joint  letter written by 28 groups and conservationists to Minister Conroy.

You can help!

We need as many people as possible to help our wolves by writing to Minister Conroy and asking her to reduce the uncontrolled hunting and trapping of wolves in British Columbia.
Please send your email to Minister Conroy at [email protected]

And cc the Premier and these ministers

Detailed letter and the list of signators is listed after Barb’s summary.

Wolf Killing ‘Loophole’ Needs Closing, Says Minister Conroy

A Summary by Barb Murray

Feb. 17, 2021 – A growing group, now numbering 28, consisting of scientists, biologists, NGOs, conservationists, wildlife photographers, animal advocates and others have serious concerns over recent remarks by our new Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Minister, Katrine Conroy.  See the joint letter to Minister Conroy posted below.

The issue concerns the unregulated trapping of wolves in BC, raised on Vancouver Island when someone set about trapping the whole wolf pack living near a community in the Premier’s riding of Sooke.  Details in Globe and Mail article B.C. to tighten rules for trapping wolves.

Minister Conroy acted quickly to recognize the problem and proposed “closing the loopholes”.  She may personally feel compelled to ‘close’ the loopholes but she is also new to her job in a very compromised Ministry.  Unfortunately some of her comments were  very troubling:

“Katrine Conroy, the Minister for Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development, said in an interview Thursday that she was unaware until this week that there are no limits on trapping wolves in the province.”

“I’m going to work with the B.C. Wildlife Federation and the B.C. Trappers Association to change the regulations, to close the loophole, because I think it’s a loophole,” Ms. Conroy said.

“Ms. Conroy said she was briefed on the regulations after the Premier’s remarks. She said she believes most trappers follow sustainable practices, and said wolf hunting will continue in B.C. – particularly where it is supported by Indigenous communities – because the population is not at risk. “They are really resilient. As we say on the farm, they breed like rabbits. There are no conservation concerns.”

Below there is a joint  letter written by 28 groups and conservationiststo to Minister Conroy. We have proposed ways that she could quickly address troubling issues around the killing of wolves across B.C. not only on Vancouver Island.

Open Letter to the Honourable Katrine Conroy

Minister of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development

February 16, 2021

Dear Minister Conroy,

Congratulations on your appointment as Minister of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development. We hope you will usher in considerable change from the former destructive practices of that Ministry. We also thank you for your willingness to “close the loopholes” that allowed the trapping of wolves on Vancouver Island. New legislation is definitely needed, and we appreciate your prompt recognition of this.

However, your statement quoted in the Times Colonist, that you will “be working with the B.C. Wildlife Federation and BC Trappers Association to change the regulations”, has caused serious consternation across the environmental movement, which represents thousands of British Columbians. Surely your Ministry would not select only two interest groups for consultation — and groups that have a vested interest in killing wolves at that.

For some time the BC Government has been gravitating towards a stance that recognizes only hunters, trappers and First Nations as having a valid interest in the province’s wildlife.  Past administrations have even considered giving control of BC wildlife management to private interests dominated by hunter, trapper and guide outfitter groups. This has been infuriating to the many BC residents who aren’t hunters or trappers, but who are aware of the crucial role that apex predators have in maintaining ecosystem health in BC. BC’s wildlife belongs to ALL British Columbians.

The Globe & Mail also quoted you as saying, in regards to the hunting and trapping of wolves: “they breed like rabbits. There are no conservation concerns.” Please reconsider this common fallacy that has long been promoted by hunters, trappers, and some wildlife managers who have failed to take note of the science of ecology. Doesn’t “no conservation concerns” infer that we can kill as many wolves as we want because their breeding habits make it difficult to wipe them out? And if there are no conservation concerns, then is there no need to include the opinions of environmental groups, wildlife viewing businesses, and unaffiliated citizens who value our wildlife alive?

To the contrary, we assure you that wolves have been wiped out over a vast area of the United States. They were nearly wiped out historically in parts of southern Canada from early trapping, strychnine poisoning and persecution. But conservation concern for wolves must also include the crucial role that wolves play in maintaining the balance of species in an ecosystem. Simply reducing wolf populations can have very negative ripple effects in ecosystems that can extend to wiping out other species.

Your desire to “close the loopholes” is clear. But it is notorious that hunters, trappers, and their organizations, lobby constantly to have large carnivores regularly killed in order to increase ungulate populations, for no other reason than to make it easier for humans to hunt them. That is not science, and it is detrimental to biodiversity, which healthy wolf populations promote. Consulting only their organizations could introduce serious bias into the new rules that you propose to put in place. That would be a betrayal of the public trust vested in a government that is supposed to be committed to fairness to all.

We therefore request that the environmental groups, independent conservationists, independent scientists and non-consumptive wildlife viewing tourism businesses have standing equal to hunting and trapping interests in this matter. Please bring your attention and the powers of your office to a more balanced review of this urgent issue.


28 Signators

cc:  Premier John Horgan

Hon. Nathan Cullen, Minister of State for Lands and Natural Resources


Animal Alliance of Canada
Jordan Reichart
Applied Conservation GIS
Baden Cross
Arrowsmith Naturalists
Sally Soanes
Sara Dubois
Bears Matter Consulting
Barb Murray
Clayoquot Action Committee
Bonny Glambeck
Coyote Watch Canada
Lesley Sampson
Cranberry Coho Photography
Cindy Lewis
Dr. Gosia Bryia
Conservation Scientist
Ellie Lamb
Bear Behaviour Expert
Fin Free Victoria
Margaret McCullough
Friends of the Lardeau River
Jim Lawrence
Friends of Nemaiah Valley
David Williams
Hope Mtn. Black Bear
Committee, Lydia Koot
Kelly Carson
Kootenay Reflections
Jim Lawrence Photography
Peter Hamilton
Mt. Willet Wilderness Forever
Gary Diers
Ocean Adventures
Trish & Eric Boyum
Pacific Rainforest Adventure Tours
Pacific Wild
Karen McAllister
Rebeka Breder
Animal Law Lawyer
Ryan Simmonds
Wildlife Guide
Stikine Images
Cas Sowa
Takaya’s Legacy Initiative
Cheryl Alexander
The Fur-Bearers
Lesley Fox
Valhalla Wilderness Society
Wayne McCrory, RPBio.
WildAid Canada Society
Joe Duff


3 thoughts on “Wolf Killing Loophole Needs Closing, Says Minister Conroy”

  1. Wolves travel on the logging roads we have built in the forests. Their prey was able to hide before we made the huge clear cuts, easily deep in the old growth forests. Wolves have no easy and quick access to food and produce therefore faster. A wolf lives about 13 years out in the wild. While I don’t agree with the statements of the hunter, I see all of us at fault. We hunters are the ones trying to fix that issue, we all did create.
    The majority of hunters and trappers are very ethical, so adjusting the rules is totally fine. Stopping the hunt will be devastating, it will sooner or later first wipe out the ungulates (their major prey), they will spread canine distemper if the population is dense enough.
    We all were the ones changing and modifying the landscape, don’t point fingers.

  2. Pingback: You can help BC Wolves!  - Bears Matter

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