Pacific Wild issues Public Safety Advisory
Safety concerns about government aerial gunning activities
Victoria, B.C., January 10, 2020 – Civilian contractors will soon discharge high-powered weapons from helicopters (Jan-March 2020) as part of the B.C. government’s wolf cull program.
Pacific Wild, an environmental charity in B.C., has issued a public safety advisory to the Minister of Public Safety, (Canada), Minister of Public Safety (B.C.), the Chief Firearms Officer (B.C.) and the Minister responsible for the Aeronautics Act (Canada). The Minister responsible for Forests, Range, Natural Resource Operations, and Rural Development (B.C.) has also been notified.
Ian McAllister, Executive Director at Pacific Wild, said “In the fall of 2019, the B.C. government announced it would conduct new aerial gunning of wolves on public Crown lands. In response, we gathered an expert interdisciplinary research team to review the government’s plan.”
McAllister continued, “Our research indicates there is a high likelihood of unlawful government activities. Also, there are extreme public safety concerns by allowing civilians to discharge high powered weapons from an aerial platform while over public lands.”
McAllister added, “Allowing any civilian to possess a loaded firearm on an airborne commercial aircraft and then to have that firearm continuously discharged from the aircraft, over public lands, and at a moving target (in this case running wolves) is patently ridiculous from a safety perspective.”
McAllister adds, “This is a serious issue which poses a clear and present danger to air safety and general public safety. It also raises broader questions about the ethical and humane treatment of our wildlife and the lawfulness of certain government actions.”
The B.C. government has killed 425 wolves by aerial gunning between 2015-2019. The majority of these were within the Peace Region. Annual kills are as follows:
- 2014-2015 (41 wolves)
- 2015-2016 (155 wolves)
- 2016-2017 (62 wolves)
- 2017-2018 (116 wolves)
- 2018-2019 (51 wolves)
Pacific Wild is issuing this public safety advisory and notifying the responsible authorities. We are currently collaborating with Breder Law in Vancouver and are assessing our legal options. Pacific Wild will provide the public updates in the near future.
Pacific Wild implores both the federal and provincial governments to act now in the interests of air safety and public safety.
Ian McAllister, Executive Director
Rebeka Breder, lawyer