As reported in the Bulletin last week, the Animal Alliance, a national animal rights group, is willing to hit B.C. in the wallet to protest the treatment of animals. They are mounting an anti-wolf cull campaign to try to keep people from visiting British Columbia.
However, the group is also willing to put their money into non-lethal methods at wildlife management. To that end the group has pledged $10,000, matching City of Kimberley’s contribution, towards a study into translocating deer.
Mayor Don McCormick says that the City will take Animal Alliance up on the offer, though it has yet to be formally approved by Council.
Liz White, Campaign Director for Animal Alliance, says that ever since deer culls began to become a wildlife management tool in British Columbia, her group has been advocating looking for alternatives. However, she says, relocation of deer is not without problems and must be approached with a degree of caution.
“Something is going on with the mule deer population in the East Kootenay in the wild,” she said.
“The population is in decline and the Ministry hasn’t done the studies to determine why. If the external environment can’t support the current population, how can it support additional animals?”
White says there may be parts of the East Kootenay where mule deer are doing well and could support translocated animals, but there is also the issue of predation.
“Translocated deer are under a high degree of stress and it appears that they are more vulnerable to predators,” White said.
Despite these concerns, the idea of looking at non-lethal methods is a very positive one, White says.
“We just want to see animals treated with the greatest compassion and humaneness.”