NEWS RELEASE June 2, 2020 On May 20 a pair of young fawns were found in the bushes near to where their mother had been killed by a cougar on the Sunshine Coast of BC. They were sent by Ministry of Forestry, Lands, and Natural Resource Operations (FLNRO) for reasons we do not understand as of yet to a movie industry company, Beyond Bears. Stop Animal Brutality believes healthy animals should be left in the wild, but if not action should be taken in the following order: 1) To a professional non-profit rehabilitation centre, that will re-release the rehabilitated animal back into its natural habitat 2) To a qualified humane wildlife sanctuary if rehabilitation is not possible due to injuries that will not allow the animal to be released into its natural habitat 3) to a non-profit educational organization licensed in wildlife care and regularly inspected by the SPCA 4) As a final resort to be euthanized if no quality of life can be maintained due to life treating injury, or very poor health. If any government is going to go down the slippery slope of allowing any industry to simply put in a request for wildlife, where will it stop ? Presently operating for-profit, reputable companies in the film industry should only be licensed to care for wild animals, provided that the company proves it is treating the animals well which includes socialization, adequate housing, appropriate feeding, and regular veterinarian care, with a log of the animals history. Animal rights groups such as the SPCA need to monitor and hold these organization accountable to a humane standard. It is the opinion of Stop Animal Brutality that in this day and age of digital production these animals should not be put in such a position, one that could be considered animal exploitation such as a circus for entertainment sake. Stop Animal Brutality is on the record for opposing this practice. It is not the appropriate roll of a government to sell, give or loan innocent wildlife to any industry for profit .
Mistakenly, in our opinion the film industry took priority over any rehabilitation efforts. When this was brought to the attention of the Conservation Officer Service (COS) they acted immediately.
Stop Animal Brutality would like to thank Chief Conservation Officer Doug Forsdick, Deputy Chief Chris Doyle, and Inspector Murray Smith of the COS who worked quickly and professionally with FLNRO to deliver the two fawns to Critter Care Rehabilitation Centre on June 2. Critter Care has reported that the fawns arrived in relatively good health other than bloating and diarrhea, which they suggested is attributed to improper feeding at Beyond Bears and stress. We thank the COS and FLNRO for giving these beautiful animals a second chance to live their lives in the wild. We at Stop Animal Brutality look forward to continuing work with the COS, FLNRO, Ministry of Environment, and regional and municipal leaders to continue resolving issues for wildlife. Wildlife is under increasing pressure from hunting and habitat destruction from recreation, development, resource extraction industries. It sometimes seems the only value these animals have is for consumptive use, taking their habitat, and exploiting them. It is nice to see that we can work with the COS for the collective good of wildlife and wildlife habitat. Thank you Doug Forsdick, Chris Doyle, Murray Smith, Critter Care, Lesley Fox of Fur Bearers, the Sunshine Coast Bear Alliance, Susan Sanders of BCB Black Bear Association, and other involved animal rights advocates. Kelly Ready, Executive Director Stop Animal Brutality 604-762-1960
The Ancient Forest Alliance is calling for the provincial government to establish a BC Old-Growth Protection Strategy that would ensure comprehensive, legislated protection for BC’s ancient forests on public/Crown lands. The science-based plan would incorporate timelines to immediately end old-growth logging in “critically endangered” forests, and quickly phase out old-growth logging where there is a “high risk” to biological diversity and ecosystem integrity. Please complete the survey and submit your feedback by Jan 31 at 4pm. Also, please sign the Ancient Forest Alliance’s petition to indicate your support for their plan.
Below are facts on the old-growth forests of BC:
old growth supports immense biodiversity. Once they’re gone they’re gone, along with the many species that can only survive in old growth stands, or spend a portion of their lives there (ex. Marble Murrelets are an at-risk ocean-dwelling bird that only nests in old growth)
The unique features of old-growth forests take centuries to develop. At the current rate of logging old growth can be considered to be irreplaceable and will fail to reestablish with rising atmosphere temperatures, changing weather patterns (droughts), forest fires and development
old growth provides plays so many important ecosystem roles, from water filtration, air purification and oxygen production, run off mitigation, soil stabilization, temperature moderating, carbon storage (2-3x that of second growth forests, which is important to mitigate climate change), are a key part in the salmon lifecycle providing clear, streams for spawning and homes to black and grizzly bears which fertilize the nearby forest with salmon remains; key habitat for thousands of native plant and animal species, and are a large source of tourism revenue in “Beautiful British Columbia”, etc.
Old growth is what BC is revered for by people around the world. If it’s being cut down it’s against our nature (pardon the pun), values, and image as nature-loving, nature-protecting people. They help us stay connected to the natural world and remind us to protect it for future generations
old growth play an important role in First Nations culture
what remains of old growth stands have been here before settlers arrived and simply deserve to remain intact on the Earth. Just because we can dominate them with chainsaws doesn’t mean they should be chopped down.
In the last 10 days the BC Conservation Officer Service nearly caused the death of 2 black bear cubs from negligence. Black bear kills in 2019 were up 40% over 2018. Prevention and rehabilitation must be prioritized over killing to resolve human-wildlife conflict. We have launched a petition to the Chief Conservation Officer, Assistant Deputy Minister and Minister of Environment and Climate Change, and the Minister of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations to demand policy change at the COS, as well as independent oversight so they are held accountable for their actions. For more information and to sign please visit http://chng.it/csFtTHrfvF
Alternatively, you can download and print a PDF version of the petition. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org for our mailing address.
Stop Animal Brutality is working with the BC Conservation Officer Service to develop a Wildlife Attractant Policy to discourage and prevent wildlife from accessing and becoming conditioned to or dependent on food sources generated or controlled by human activity. The policy will apply to communities that co-exist with large wildlife that habituate to attractants like bears and cougars, and will define the minimum requirements for the collection, removal and disposal of garbage, and the requirement on citizens and businesses to manage wildlife attractants such as garbage, compost, fruit trees and crops, and storage fridges and freezers. Warnings and fines will be given out by Conservation Officers, as well as Bylaw Enforcement officers.
In early December residents of a Port Coquitlam neighbourhood brought about the death of 2 sows and 4 cubs.
This CBC article reported that Conservation Officers repeatedly warned residents not to leave out food waste, bird seed, and unlocked garbage bins since the bears appeared in the area in October. Officers also issued six violation tickets, five dangerous wildlife protection orders and two warnings to discourage such negligence. They also expected the two sows and four cubs to hibernate in the colder months, but the bears continued to stay, living in backyards and roaming in a nearby park.
Stop Animal Brutality visited the park and spoke with neighbours about the incident. We have learned that residents regularly leave out attractants, despite receiving notices from their a property management firm. The property management shared that it regularly finds attractants carelessly left out, including recycling bins contaminated with dirty diapers and used tampons, as well as open disposal bins. It’s no wonder that these bears kept returning to the neighbourhood. It is shameful that people could be so lazy and careless to not clean and sort their disposables responsibly, and contribute to the death of neighbouring wildlife.
Stop Animal Brutality is currently consulting with the City’s By-Law Enforcement office, the COS, the property management firm, and other animal rights groups to come to a workable solution to prevent future conflicts. SAB is also investigating the actions of the COS.
Mayor Bill Beamish of the Town of Gibsons focused on co-existence with bears in this month’s “Talk of the Town” message from Council. He acknowledged that humans – residents, businesses, waste collection, the COS, and Council – must work together to change our behaviours so that easily accessible garbage, fruit windfall, bird feeders, dirty BBQs and other attractants do not create so-called “problem bears”. Read the full address here for the Mayor’s list of immediate actions you can take towards having “respect for their natural behaviour, as demonstrated by more thoughtful behaviour of our own”.
On the chilly Remembrance Day long weekend, dozens of concerned Sunshine Coast residents and members of Stop Animal Brutality met with Gibsons Mayor Bill Beamish and Inspector Murray Smith, Sargeant Dean Miller, and Officer Leyland Klassen of the COS. At this meeting they discussed how citizens, the COS, local government, developers, waste management, and other groups can work together to reduce human-wildlife conflict to save the lives of bears and other wildlife on the Sunshine Coast.
At this meeting the Sunshine Coast Bear Alliance was founded. The group’s mission is to end human-bear conflict on the Sunshine Coast so that residents, bears and other wildlife, can harmoniously co-exist in the coastal community. The group invites anyone who is interested in volunteering and bringing their expertise and knowledge. Several committees have formed to achieve these goals:
To educate our residents about living respectfully and safely with our coastal bear population.
To work together with various levels of government organizations including the COS and Wildsafe BC to make meaningful changes to laws and regulations.
To work together with Conservation Officers to develop and man a “Sunshine Coast Bear Help Line” telephone service answering calls from residents about bear activity and identifying high conflict locations.
To establish a School Outreach Program (K-12) to cultivate a respectful and educated framework so young people become stewards of bears and other wildlife in our community.
To collaborate with local governments and waste disposal providers to develop an optimal waste management system that insures the least opportunity for bear-garbage attractants.
To eliminate the termination of any bear on our Sunshine Coast due to issues with garbage attractants, human conflict and/or disrespectful and unsatisfactory waste management disposal practices.
The group plans to create a model for co-existence with bears and to share this model province-wide and link all of the bear groups together, as well as help found more groups. For more information on the alliance check out the Facebook group
Stop Animal Brutality is pleased to see citizens banding together and donating their time and resources to protect their wildlife neighbours. Both groups actively work together to share information, strategies, and resources.
Two investigations, released under Freedom of Information laws, show a government agency ignored best practices and available data when auctioning cutblocks in the Nahmint Valley — home to some of Vancouver Island’s last remaining stands of unlogged ancient forest — where clearcutting continues to this day. Read the full article here
As bears pack on weight for winter they have been attracted to outdoor compost bins as well as unpicked fruit trees on the Sunshine Coast, essentially encouraging bears to break into yards. Citizens must make an effort to co-exist with the wild animals that have called this area home for millenia, as well as ensure their own safety and that of their neighbours. Otherwise more often than not “a fed bear is a dead bear”. This article in BC Living lists a range of ways to discourage bears, including composting food scraps in an indoor worm bin compost system if possible, and only composting garden waste and lawn clippings in an outdoor bin. Read the full article here
Sign the Petition
Join us in calling for a review of the hiring practices and for independent oversight of the BC Conservation Officer Service