Rehabilitation First, Destroying Last - Wildlife in Kelowna BC Canada Need Help

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Recently more and more instances of wildlife within Canada being destroyed (euthanized), or cases surrounding this have been brought to light. Canada’s federal government and individual provinces/territories within Canada need to develop new policies and regulations aimed at rehabilitating animals first, and destroying them as an absolute last resort. This not only helps the animals, but assists the country with meeting its climate change action targets and sustainability goals. Revisiting and rewriting these policies can also play an important role in fostering relationships between Canada’s Indigenous peoples and governments. Wildlife exists for more reasons than providing human viewing pleasure. Continuing to follow old policies only places more and more species at risk. It is time to redevelop old policies for what the country and world are experiencing now, to not only help the animals, but ensure they can help our own natural lands as well.

The Canadian Wildlife Act, developed in 1985 and last amended in 2017, does not aim to rehabilitate or assist in the survival of animals when in need of help, but rather get rid of them. The British Columbia Department of Lands and Forestry, who handle the cases involving the destruction of wildlife, also leaves wildlife to last, without even mentioning wildlife care within their mission. It is time to change old policies and regulations for the better.

In British Columbia, in 2015, Bryce Casavant defied orders while working as a special provincial constable to euthanize two five-month-old bear cubs after their mother was caught eating salmon from a freezer. Instead, he moved them to a far-away facility for rehabilitation and they were eventually released into the wild. Bryce was fired, placing him and his family in financial stress for the years to come. Taking this case to court, the ex-conservation officer recently won the dismissal case in B.C. court.

In Nova Scotia, Hope for Wildlife, a renowned wildlife rescue service centre with trained vets and care staff, has been working to have such rules changed for years, especially surrounding bears and innocent bear cubs. Recently Hope for Wildlife took in an orphaned black bear cub after it was brought in late at night by someone. They cared for it that night and had it checked by their vet, and followed protocol the next morning by calling N.S. Department of Lands and Forestry, resulting in the destruction of the cub. This has to stop and we need to work with these organizations to protect our wildlife.

Governments need to work with wildlife sanctuaries and rescue services to develop strict guidelines on rehabilitating such animals and ensuring these steps come before the thought of destructions. Proceeding to not do so not only puts more wildlife at risk, but will result in the weakening of Canada’s long term environmental health. Please help by letting our provincial/territorial and federal governments know it is time to put animal lives first.

Let's be a voice for these animals who do not have one. Anyone can be a conservation officer if you own a gun and a truck, a bullet is not the only answer.