The City of Kimberley has been denied the experimental deer hazing permit it applied for late last month. The permit would provide a 48-hour window to have a professional hazer come into the city and herd the deer out with dogs.
Kimberley Mayor Ron McRae said the denial was a disappointment, as the Urban Deer Committee was looking for a permit to do a demonstration of the technique, which has been used in Banff, Jasper and Waterton.
McRae said the city is looking at various strategies to work with the deer population and explore all avenues for better management of deer.
Kimberley city council decided to go back to the Ministry of Forest, Lands and Natural Resource Operations and ask that it reconsider its decision on the hazing permit.
“We’ve been saying to the province: ‘Give us the opportunity or you the province should be doing research on these tools to manage the deer population,’” he said. “That isn’t necessarily just specific to culling.”
He added that, at the moment, culling is the only deer management technique that the province is giving permits for. He is hopeful the province will take another look at hazing.
“We think that in B.C. it is a technique that should be looked at, even though the provincial regulations are such that they prohibit that sort of activity, but there are always ways to make things happen, it’s just a question of exploring that process,” he said.
McRae said the ministry denied the application primarily because the current Wildlife Act prohibits activities like hazing.
“The province did indicate that if the regulations were amended to allow a project like hazing to go forward then it would have to be done within a specific research project that would be rigorously undertaken and critiqued,” he said.
A deer cull is still being considered as well.
“A cull was never off the table, there’s certainly the same direction from the urban deer advisory committee in terms of what the next steps might be in a deer cull,” he said, adding that communities like Kimberley need to be given every opportunity to explore techniques in deer management.