For Immediate Release
Over 4,000 BC black bears killed in last 8 years by government agency
Open letter calls on Minister to mandate body cameras for Conservation Officers
January 1, 2020
Victoria, BC – The death toll of BC’s wildlife killed by the BC Conservation Officer Service (BCCOS) is causing great concern for the conversation organization, Pacific Wild. In a detailed open letter to BC Minister of Environment and Climate Change Strategy, George Heyman, the group calls for urgent reforms including body-cameras for individual officers and independent oversight of the environmental policing agency.
“The current kill statistics are alarming and do not reflect the modern-day values of British Columbians”, says Ian McAllister, Executive Director for Pacific Wild. “To provide transparency, ensure public trust, and to protect the integrity of conservation officers, we are calling on the Minister to make body-cameras mandatory and independent oversight a top priority for 2020.”
And while the BC government continues to claim not a single conservation officer relishes the thought of having to put down animals, former BC Conservation Officer and current Senior Conservation Policy Analyst at Pacific Wild, Bryce Casavant, disagrees.
Casavant says, ” BC isn’t a shooting gallery for government employees. It’s unreasonable to believe that, including juvenile bear cubs, over 4,000 black bears were killed ‘as a last resort’”.
According to the latest statistics by the BC Government, in the last 8 years B.C. Conservation Officers have killed 4,341 black bears, 162 grizzly bears, and 780 cougars, with 542 black bears killed in 2019 alone, as well as, 26 grizzly bears (2019) – a historically significant number of kills.
Pacific Wild is a charitable organization dedicated to protecting and preserving BC’s natural environment and wildlife.
Read our open letter – January 1st 2020