Category Archives: Campaigns

Petition for policy change for BC’s bears

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

Alternatively, you can download and print a PDF version of the petition. Please email for our mailing address.

Thank you to Critter Care Wildlife Society for saving the lives of these orphaned cubs.

Sunshine Coast Bear Alliance forms at meeting with COS and Mayor of Gibsons

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.

BC Bear Day is Sept 22 in North Vancouver

Presented by the Raincoast Conservation Foundation, Capilano University, and North Shore Black Bear Society the BC Bear Day event provides a whole day to educate, inform and inspire you about British Columbia’s Bears.

FREE Family day session 11-4pm: Designed to inform and inspire children and families, there is everything from bear yoga, to face-painting, bear research class, an adventure in wildlife photography with local wildlife photographer Ian Harland, music, treats from Earnest Ice Cream, and fun activities from a host of community partners.

Speakers and panel discussion (6:30-8pm) (tickets available here)
In the evening the event will shift gears with the main theme being co-existence. We will be welcomed by Charlene Aleck from the Tsleil-Waututh Nation and then the Takaya dancers. The evening’s main speaker will be Doug Neasloss, Stewardship Director for the Kitasoo /Xai’xais Nation and lead guide for Spirit Bear Adventures. Following Doug, other experts will join a panel to discuss how we can advance effective co-existence with bears throughout BC.

Add your voice to the petition from the Fur Bearers

Following the arrests of 3 Coquitlam residents who spoke out against destruction of a mother black bear and her two cubs, our affiliates at the Fur Bearers have launched a petition to MLAs and the Ministry of Environment and Climate Change calling for systemic changes to how community conflict with black bears is managed as deaths continue to rise, and signs of eroded public trust in the Conservation Officer Service become more apparent. Please add your voice to the shared call for:
– the COS to employ preventative measures, give fines, and provide educational tools prior to lethal measures
– third-party oversight be put into place to review and advise the actions of armed law enforcement agents
– funding be made available to any municipality to increase by-law enforcement activities, specifically related to wildlife feeding and attractants
– both the RAPP (Report All Pouchers and Polluters) line and by-law enforcement departments begin accepting anonymous information regarding by-law or provincial infractions that put wildlife and people at risk

Lone hiker attacked by grizzly in remote wilderness north of Powell River

On July 29, Colin Dowler of Quadra Island escaped an encounter with a grizzly bear in Ramsay Arm, an area of remote wilderness 180km northeast of Powell River. He was by himself on a logging road when he was attacked by, then used a knife to stab the bear and fend off the attack. He escaped on his bike to a nearby workcamp where he received first aid before being airlifted to Vancouver General. All available Conservation Officers for the Sunshine Coast region were dispatched to hunt down and destroy the bear. While we are grateful he did not sustain life-threatening or fatal injuries, his choice to enter alone into the remote wilderness resulted in the subsequent pursuit and destruction of the bear in remote grizzly country, which is literal overkill. This hiker went against common sense and the recommendations from the BC Government website: he took the risk to enter alone into remote grizzly country. This was not a case of an aggressive habituated bear entering a residential neighbourhood; this was a human who willingly entered grizzly country on his own with the increased risk of conflict.
Again, this another case of overzealous unnecessary aggression towards wildlife by our supposed “Conservation” officers.
We demand independent oversight of the COS, and reprimand of the commanding officers for the actions!


Bear in cage in Gibsons, BC
Bear left for 16+ hrs in bear cage in Gibsons, BC, before being released by COS

Stop Animal Brutality was notified by a Gibsons resident that a black bear had been left in a bear cage on July 30 (see photo below). It is believed the bear was captured after coming to the residential area after habituated to garbage and attractants left out by residents. Thankfully the weather was cool and overcast, and neighbours provided water to the animal. However, no Conservation Officers were available to immediately attend to the bear, as all had been deployed on what appeared to be a manhunt to destroy a grizzly bear that encountered and attacked a lone hiker in remote grizzly country 180km northeast of Powell River. Not a single officer could be left behind to relocate this black bear, which was left in the cage upwards of 16 hrs.
We contacted Sergeant Dean Miller of the South Coast Region of the Ministry of Environment and Climate Change, who confirmed that the bear was released.

Formal complaint filed against Conservation Officer Service

On July 14 we filed a formal complaint against the Conservation Officer Service for conflict of interest in their recruitment and hiring of hunters, and lack of independent oversight.

Please read the attached  letter of complaint, which includes links to the Conservation Officer Services’ Training Outlines, self-investigation via their Complaints Policy, and lack of evaluation of the effectiveness of the COS program.

Read here:    COS complaint attachcment_edit

NEWS RELEASE: Assistant Deputy Minister admits Conservation Officers engage with hunting organizations during workg hours and actively hunt on and off the job

Assistant Deputy Minister Jim Standen admits Conservation Officers engage with hunting organizations during work hours and actively hunt on and off the job.

Vancouver –  July 14, 2018
Kelly Ready, Executive Director of Stop Animal Brutality

An animal rights organization has filed a formal service and policy complaint against the Conservation Officer Service alleging that the organizations hiring practices are in a conflict of interest. Said Kelly Ready, Executive Director of Stop Animal Brutality, “The BC Conservation Officers directly recruit hunters who then hire more hunters and give the badges and guns.”

Kelly adds, “The Chief is a hunter, the ADM is a hunter, the officers are hunters, and most of the management staff engages in off work hunting activities.”

The issue of recruiting hunters was first brought up in the media last year when a recruitment poster was placed on government websites which pictured a conservation officer smiling over a grizzly bear. The recruitment advertisement asked if people wanted to tranquilize grizzly bears for work. After public outrage and media coverage, the government removed the recruitment poster was taken down.

Kelly Ready states, “this style of recruitment is directly targeted at licenced hunters who want to hunt animals for work and is a blatant example of a conflict of interest within the COS and its management staff.”

The issue of hunters in the conservation service was again in the media this year when the BC government attempted to block FOI requests from members of the public who wanted to know how many hunters were in the organization. Eventually the government complied with the requests after a public servant assisted. The results showed that over 70% of the organization is staffed by individuals with a hunting record.

Kelly states, “I think those numbers are low because they include all management and support staff.” He continued, “If you were to look just at the armed field staff who actually kill wildlife as part of their job I think the real results would be over 90%, but the government will not release that data.”

Mr. Ready then took matters into his own hands and e-mailed the minister alleging there is no accountability in the organization and that officers are in a conflict of interest. He says, “I was shocked when the Assistant Deputy Minister, Jim Standen, emailed me and confirmed that officers actively hunt both on duty and off duty and as part of their job also engage with hunting organizations.”

He continued, “I am very concerned that the ADM is quoting their financial support of the Wildsafe program even though the Auditor General has said the COS has never properly evaluated the effectiveness of this program. Basically, the government is giving A BC Wildlife Federation division 275k of tax payers money every year without knowing if it’s effective.”

Kelly concluded, “The ADM himself is a hunter, the Chief CO is a hunter, and I believe over 90% of its uniformed field officers are hunters. For this reasons I have filed a formal service and policy complaint and I am demanding an impartial and transparent investigation be complete by individuals who are not hunters.”


70% of Conservation Officers are also Hunters

In 2016 a BC Conservation Officer shot an orphaned black bear cub in Dawson Creek that was awaiting transport to a wildlife sanctuary, sparking much debate and a court challenge. The BC supreme court ruled in favour of the Conservation Officers Service. In 2018 a Vancouver Sun article  stated that 70% of BC Conservation Officers are also hunters,  information that was obtained from the BC government via the Freedom of Information Act. Several officers even applied for permits to kill Grizzly bears before the trophy hunt was banned in late 2017.

Stop Animal Brutality realizes that Conservation Officers must have backcountry and gun training, but we are concerned that Conservation Officers are overstepping their mandates, and many are acting like the fox guarding the chicken coop.  We demand that the BC government re-examines the mandate of the Conservation Officer Service to prioritize the conservation and non-lethal management of wildlife.

If they won’t CONSERVE, we have to!

Support Bill C-400 for mandatory Cat and Dog Fur labelling

Did you know it’s legal to import and sell CAT and DOG Fur in Canada?


Loose import laws allow pet fur products into Canada without any required labelling. MPs had a chance to stop this, but the Liberal majority voted down Bill C‐246 (the animal cruelty act) in the House of Commons, due to the broad scope of the bill and its protection of various animals. Animal cruelty may be controversial to many that profit from it, as was the case with Bill C-246, but most Canadians agree they don’t want to wear the fur of a cat or dog!

In April 2018, Brian Masse (NDP) introduced the Private Member’s Bill C-400, which seeks to change labelling laws and require imports to be labelled with the type of fur. Private bills rarely pass in a majority Government, so this bills needs our support!

We call on the Liberal party to vote in favour of  Bill C-400 and make fur labelling mandatory for all imports.

Please sign our petition here , and also take a few seconds to lend your support to the petition with our friends at Fur Bearers who have been fighting this battle much longer. Please share this with family, friends, and coworkers!

Read Bill C-400 below or in full at