Columbia River-Revelstoke MLA Norm Macdonald is asking the Minister of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations for quick changes to the Wildlife Act after the recent deer hazing trial in Kimberley.
He will be meeting with Minister Steve Thomson later this month and at that time will ask him to make the necessary moves that will allow hazing to be used as a tool in deer management.
Macdonald says it was a positive sign that a temporary hazing permit was allowed in Kimberley, and he hopes the Ministry will move on it.
“The Ministry position on hazing has always been that it needs a change in legislation. I’m saying it should be done,” Macdonald said. “It’s one more tool for managing urban deer and I know the local government in Kimberley wants to have that option.”
Macdonald says that parts of the Wildlife Act are simply archaic, in that you can get a permit to cull deer but not to haze them.
“I think the part around dogs was originally intended to make sure people handled their dogs around deer, that pets didn’t chase wildlife, but that means hazing is not allowed.
“But now many well-informed people feel hazing under the right conditions is an appropriate tool for deer management.
“Deer are a provincial responsibility so the province needs to make the legislation changes that will allow local governments to use hazing as a tool. And they need to put resources behind it as well. Urban deer problems are not an issue unique to our part of the province. We need to become more sophisticated in our management.
“I support local municipal councils in their request of government to make this legislative change. And I’ve indicated to the communities of Invermere, Kimberley and Cranbrook that I will use my position as Opposition critic for Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations to push the minister on this issue.”