For the Townsman
The British Columbia Deer Protection Society (BCDPS) seeks to clarify misinformation in an article published in the Kimberley Bulletin on Friday, February 14.
The BCDPS is a province-wide coalition of societies, groups and individuals from all walks of life who are dedicated to the protection of wildlife.
It is not solely based out of Invermere and it is not the organization who was involved with the lawsuit against the District of Invermere as originally reported. Most BCDPS members are residents in the cities who are either considering conducting culls or who have conducted culls, including Kimberley, and have an interest in compassionate conservation of British Columbia deer.
In the February 14 article, the Bulletin wrote that the Kimberley deer cull had not begun because, “…the clover traps (used to trap and kill deer) were stolen from the Ministry building in Cranbrook and some destroyed.”
Later in the article, the Mayor of Kimberley said the City would have a response to the flyers, and said: “In the meantime, the public needs to know what kind of tactics this group will go to achieve their ends.”
“We are deeply concerned that it appears Mayor McRae was pointing his finger at our Society in being involved in more extreme measures,” said Devin Kazakoff, spokesperson for the Coalition.
“Our groups have fought long and hard for two years opposing these barbaric and pointless culls, ” Kazakoff continued. “We use every legal tool at our disposal to put an end to the cruelty. We do not engage in criminal activity. The BCDPS’s mission is ‘advocating for compassionate conservation through education, research, and political action.'”
“In 2012, Kimberley trapped 101 random deer,” said Sherry Adams, director of BCDPS.
“We told them that culls don’t work. We explained the rebound effect and provided them with the research. We explained to them culling creates a void, to keep killing is like bailing water out of a sinking boat.
“As we predicted, two years later, Kimberley Council voted to kill another 30 deer. As a resident of Kimberley I think our tax dollars can be better spent and we can co-exist peacefully with our deer “.
“We are frustrated that city officials want to kill deer,” said Colleen Bailey, Humane Treatment of Urban Wildlife chair and BCDPS director. “We are here to expose the cull and how it’s ineffective, not destroy traps.
“We’ve met with these cities and presented effective conflict reduction strategies of British Columbia deer,” Bailey said. “These are B.C. deer. They do not belong to cities to do what they please with. Now we’ve created an effective public relations campaign to educate the citizens of British Columbia about the harsh realities of culls. I stand by our ‘tactics’ as Mayor McRae calls them.”
“The Elkford cull was a disaster,” said Wendy Huisman, Director of BCDPS and lifetime resident of Elkford. ‘The citizens of our town exposed the illegal actions of the cull contractors, not municipal officials or the Ministry. And yet it appears we are the ones who are being alluded to as participants in criminal activities. It’s truly unfair and unacceptable.”
“We need to end the blame game and work together on a compassionate conservation plan that provides real solutions to human wildlife conflicts and unifies communities across BC,” said Adams.