Stop the Use of Killing Neck Snares against Wolves in British Columbia
The Government of British Columbia currently uses killing neck snares targeting wolves and other apex carnivores as part of their wildlife management program. The snares are commonly set on crown (public) land. In the best case scenario the snares cause a painful death by choking - in the worst case the animal can suffer for days before slowly succumbing.
The snares are very poorly targeted and non-specific - and the number of non-targeted victims of other species can approach or equal the those of the targeted animals (background information: www.naturalart.ca/voice/blog.html- 21 February 2013 entry).
Wolves and other apex carnivores have high ecological value and potentially high economic value (background information: www.naturalart.ca/voice/wolfvalue.html). Their cost to society is extremely low (background information: www.naturalart.ca/voice/wolfcost.html). Yet the Government of BC manages them as vermin, reducing their population numbers as low as possible without actually endangering them.
Killing neck snares are most commonly used to “protect” cattle that are grazing on publicly-owned land. Depredation rates on cattle in BC by predators are minuscule - under one tenth of one percent of the total cattle that graze on public lands. This grazing has been described by scientists and politicians “as the most pervasive and destructive use of public lands” - and it occurs on 8.5 million hectares (almost 33,000 square miles) of land in BC. On this publicly-owned land the welfare of domestic cattle that are owned by private entrepreneurs currently takes priority over ecologically-valuable apex carnivores that are owned by all citizens of BC. And, the killing of wolves and other carnivores on this public land is paid for by the tax dollars of all British Columbians (an ecological and economic subsidy we all pay for).
It is time to stop the barbaric and inhumane practice of using neck snares to kill apex carnivores on public land. And it is time to reverse a policy that is completely backwards: the government of BC must move towards wildlife management policies that, on public land, give priority to all naturally-occurring and ecologically-valuable species of wildlife, and that are owned by all British Columbians, over that of the welfare of ecologically damaging domestic species (including cattle) that are owned by private entrepreneurs.
1. Immediately cease using neck snares to kill wolves, other carnivores and a host of non-target species on public land in British Columbia.
2. Shift wildlife management priority on public lands away from the protection and welfare of privately owned domestic species to a wildlife management model where on public land priority is given to developing, maintaining, and protecting ecologically functional populations of naturally-occurring species of wildlife, including apex predators.