COLUMN: Controlling deer comes with little help from B.C.

The Union of B.C. Municipalities even got into the act by asking the province to create a strategy for municipalities.

You either love ’em or hate ’em. Feed ’em or haze ’em.

Urban deer are making their mark in Sooke’s city core.

The ungulates feed themselves on anything that is green and colourful.

And depending on what side of the fence you’re on, they’re either magnificent animals or beasts.

The problem is municipalities have concerns with them too, and can do little to control them.

B.C. SPCA chief scientific officer Sara Dubois points out local governments have been tasked to deal with complex management issues that should be under the mandate of the provincial government.

Those problems have been handed down without the province providing resources, experience or expertise.

The Union of B.C. Municipalities, a lobby group for municipalities, even got into the act by asking the province to create a strategy for municipalities. The province complied and came with a number of options that municipalities could use, but asked those same municipalities to implement it.

The only problem is there is no verification module. For instance, if a municipality wants to conduct a deer cull, it would need to set up a committee, get community input, possibly change bylaws, do a deer count, but when the time came to do the kill and obtain a permit, the province doesn’t do due diligence to see if all has been done correctly.

Remember, under the B.C. Wildlife Act, the province “owns” all wildlife in the province.

One would think somewhere along the line their would be some accountability.

Recent culls across the province have had less than good success. In Oak Bay, with no measured deer overpopulation and no survey of community residents, the cull went ahead. After considerable opposition, 11 deer were killed without learning the local deer population or its movement. And in Elkford after the removal of 39 mule deer, the municipality is now struggling to address an unforeseen ungulate issue – elk have now moved into the habitat previously occupied by the mule deer.

These are trends that can be seen over and over again across B.C. where culls have been conducted.

The province needs to look at this method of disposing of “unwanted” animals in a more humane and logical way. To replace one problem with another is not the answer.

Municipalities need more guidance and expertise. After all, urban wildlife management issues aren’t going away, and certainly won’t take care of themselves.

 

 

Just Posted

Second co-housing community planned for Sooke

Community described as a ‘new way of living’

Langford mayor says City threatened during meeting over speculation tax

Stew Young says he wants Langford exempt from tax

Strong winds up to 100 km/h for parts of Vancouver Island

Wind warning in effect for north, east and west Vancouver Island into Saturday morning

Victoria invited to get a closer look at Sunday’s lunar eclipse

Special event allows public to view the moon through UVic telescopes

Rare ‘super blood wolf moon’ takes to the skies this Sunday

Celestial event happens only three times this century

Fashion Fridays: Inspirational gym outfits

Kim XO, helps to keep you looking good on Fashion Fridays on the Black Press Media Network

Wind, tides could combine for 7-metre Long Beach waves Saturday

Extreme wave hazard warning at the Pacific Rim National Park Reserve.

Vancouver Island dog walker accosted by man with bear spray

Woman figures man is afraid of dogs after latest in string of Comox Valley incidents

Company issues lifetime ban after man jumps from cruise ship

Nick Naydev posted the video last week showing him standing on the balcony of the Symphony of the Seas

Parents in this B.C. city can no longer opt kids out of class for personal beliefs

Change comes as part of ‘big overhaul’ of school district’s learning resources policy approved by board

BC Hydro scammers bilked customers out of nearly $45,000 in 2018

Nearly 2,000 people reported scams to the utility, as they continue to be more common

Good news: Peak flu season over in B.C.

B.C. Centre for Disease Control says that while peak season is over, rates remain high this time of year

Vancouver Island conservancy group calls for government to shut down Georgia Strait herring roe fishery

DFO says extensive research is done annually before setting a maximum harvest rate

Most Read