The government of British Columbia has changed wildlife regulations to encourage the indiscriminate slaughter of wolves in ten B.C. wildlife management units in the Cariboo – including Quesnel, 100 Mile House, Williams Lake and the Chilcotin. Under the new regulations, there is now no closed season, and no limit on wolves killed, including mother wolves and pups. The changes also permit unlimited leghold trapping on private lands in nine management units.
Spokesperson for the British Columbia Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations, Jennifer McLarty, said that the changes are meant to help cattle ranchers protect their herds from the wolves. But independent biologists strongly disagree with the government sanctioned wolf extermination. Paul Paquet, who has extensively studied B.C. coastal wolves, said the ministry’s comments are ‘woefully ignorant’. He added the ministry’s claim that wolves are at historic high levels is unsubstantiated. Paquet said, “At best, this effort to kill wolves, and presumably protect livestock, is politically inspired seat-of-the-pants management.” Wayne McCrory, a biologist with the Valhalla Wilderness Society, who has worked in the Chilcotin, said the sanctioned wolf slaughter, “is irresponsible management, which allows the wolf to be vilified and used as a scapegoat.”