Policy Change for Bears NOW! in the BC Conservation Office Service

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Alexandra Brigham
Alexandra Brigham signed this petition

2019 saw an unprecedented amount of media coverage for bear kills, up 40% over 2018, especially in CoquitlamPort Coquitlam, and Port Moody. The first week of January saw a near miss in Anmore when the COS refused to transport an emaciated orphaned black bear cub to a rehabilitation facility and was prepared let it die in the forest. The COS considered possible charges against the citizens that eventually transported the cub, which it withdrew several days later after much public outcry. A few days later on the evening of Jan 14, the COS brought in another cub to the same wildlife rehab center. It had been transported in -9C snowing weather in the back of an open bed COS truck, despite the center offering blankets in past incidences. The bear had been sedated three times the recommended amount and ice had formed on its fur. The cold and excessive sedation put the bear at risk of death from exposure. These recent acts of severe negligence are only a few examples of the COS’s disregard for the wildlife of our province.

At present, the COS is structured and funded to kill wild animals instead of prioritizing prevention, rehabilitation, education, and accountability. We, the residents of British Columbia, are saying ENOUGH IS ENOUGH. Too many wildlife will continue to die at the hands of the COS, in addition to facing increased survival stress with climate change, land development, and habitat loss from forestry, oil, gas and mining industries. We do not accept killing as the solution to human-wildlife conflict. We demand that the BC government take immediate action to develop new policy to protect and conserve the beautiful bears that have called BC home since time immemorial. In signing this petition we demand:

1. PREVENTION and REHABILITATION VS. KILLING: that the COS prioritizes preventive measures, educational tools and equipment, and rehabilitation prior to lethal measures

2. INDEPENDENT OVERSIGHT: that the COS be placed under independent oversight to review and advise the actions of armed law enforcement agents

3. FUNDING SUPPORT: that funding be made available to any municipality to increase by-law enforcement activities, specifically related to wildlife feeding and attractants

4. CITIZEN ACCOUNTABILITY: that the COS hand out fines and press charges to individuals / organizations providing wildlife attractants

5. TRAINING and BEST PRACTICES: that all COS members from Officers to Management take mandatory training in animal sentience and behaviour to better understand the animals they work with and to act accordingly, and that Best Practices be established and followed for working with the public.

Please lend your voice and share this petition to help the beautiful bears that we share this beautiful province of British Columbia with.