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British Columbia Joins War on Wolves

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BC Responding to Fears, Not Statistics

There is nothing pretty about finding the remains of a cow or sheep attacked by wolves. British Columbia livestock breeders are understandably concerned when their already slim margins are narrowed by predation. Ranchers say attacks are increasing. So do First Nations hunters, who say moose and caribou are falling prey to wolves. In Cariboo, the province’s primary cattle country, those groups welcome the decision to allow open season on wolves that stray too near livestock.

However, B.C. Ministry of Agriculture statistics provided to the Vancouver Sun point to an emotional decision not based on statistics. In 2010, “there were 78 verified livestock losses to predators on Crown land across the province last year – the lowest in four years – for which the government paid out $32,931 in compensation.” To put that in perspective, those 78 deaths represent a tiny fraction, .052 percent, of the estimated 150,000 grazing on Crown Land.

Stephen Hume estimates 55 of the 78 deaths could be attributed to wolves. With approximately 525,000 cattle on B.C. farms and ranches (not just those on Crown Land), wolf-caused losses represent slightly over 0.01 percent, about half the number that die on the way to the slaughterhouse or are injured and have to be euthanized. Hume also cites a Canadian study of mortality in beef cattle that put disease as the top livestock killer, statistics similar to those found in the U.S.

He continues, “Meanwhile, a rancher from the Williams Lake area was charged following an SPCA investigation which found 40 of his cattle had starved to death and 130 were severely emaciated – that’s about 0.03 per cent of B.C.’s cattle herd.

“Unfair to blame all ranchers for the behaviour of one individual, ranchers reasonably argue. Exactly. And it’s equally unfair to blame wolves for livestock mortalities on the basis of unverified claims, anecdotal evidence and generalizations which arise from old prejudices.”

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First Photo: Caninest, Second photo: Caninest, Third photo: Metassus

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190 comments

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11:35AM PDT on Apr 4, 2013

STOP KILLING!!! Why do some people think they have to murder everything they come in contact with?? There are some mean, hateful, loathsome people in this old world, and they are the ones who need to be culled, not the precious animals who have had their habitats, food chain, etc taken from them at the hands of these subhuman beings, who would just as soon kill their own mothers if they got in their way. They make me sick!!!!

7:40AM PDT on Mar 27, 2013

Thank you for sharing.

4:58PM PDT on Sep 9, 2012

We are MURDERING our planet, thus ourselves.

11:46PM PDT on Aug 7, 2012

A TERRIBLE THING TO HAPPEN TO THESE BEAUTIFUL ANIMALS.

11:46PM PDT on Aug 7, 2012

A TERRIBLE THING TO HAPPEN TO THESE BEAUTIFUL ANIMALS.

9:06PM PDT on Aug 7, 2012

This just sickens me, senseless cruelty, the arrogance and sense of entitlement of these ranchers. They are so consumed with hate, greed and predjudice they can't see the forest for the trees. There is now enough scientific data proving this apex predator is an absuolute necessity in the ecosystem. Educated and intellignet ranchers/farmers implement knowledge gained through these studies and are successful with no kill deterrent measures.
Make no mistake livestock is a commodity and there is no compassion here either.

7:46AM PDT on Aug 7, 2012

We as humans cause alot of grief in this world we are our worst enemy.If we keep building and destroying land these poor animals have nowhere to go.I am disabled and my family has to live on1200.dollars a month which is why i have to go hunting every year..I also share with other families in need if the animal is too big for us.I do not agree with senseless shooting of animals. Every animal plays a part in the eco system not to mention if we start killing all the animals it upsets the natural harmony of the entire system.Wolfs are very peaceful animals they are not like hollywood pro trays them .We do have to protect the cattle if you are a farmer but there are ways to do that without killing them .I see why many people get angry with guns and senseless killings of animals,these people are the ones that should be punished not the animal.Take care and have a grand day people think before you shoot.

5:17AM PDT on Mar 21, 2012

senseless murder..stop encroaching upon wildlife habitats! Poor animals have nowhere to go :((

7:01AM PST on Feb 11, 2012

lol colleen, ranchers are obviously lazy and uneducated, otherwise they would understand the concept of ecology. No, not all of course, but the large majority. If one rancher can come up with non lethal solutions to the problem, why can,t the rest? Is that not ignorance and laziness?

1:59AM PST on Feb 9, 2012

, stop this war on wolves, stop killing then and blame then for everithing, they fear humans and avoid contact with humans, farmers and cattlers hate then because they eat their livestock, farmers and cattlers don't have any compassion for the wolves. wolves need to eat, is for survival, stop killing then' stop been greedy, this people think only in money, have compasion and let the wolves eat some livestock, stop thinking in money, they are beautiful animals, they deserve to live,stop the barbaric and cruel killing of volves, stop poisoning then, stop the hunters that kill the wolves for sport or for a throphy, hunters are barbaric,cruel, vile heartless people. very sad.

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