An Alberta-based wildlife protection group is calling on the province to make changes to its wolf culling program that it says will make it more humane.
Over the past three years, Wolf Matters has been instrumental in collecting around 10,000 signatures on a petition that was presented to the Alberta Legislature in December.
The wolf cull is part of the provincial government’s strategy to protect the endangered caribou population. Wolves are seen as the main predator of caribou.
The petition urges the government to making a number of changes to its wolf management plan, including to:
- Abolish the use of poisons.
- Change standards for snares to make them more humane.
- End wolf-kill bounties.
- Shorten the six-month trapping season and 10-month hunting season.
- Introduce legislation to protect wolves on public lands.
Currently wolves can be killed through many methods, including poisons, lethal snares and leghold traps, and by being shot from the air.
Wolf Matters member Kristen Rose says it seems Alberta’s NDP government is maintaining the status quo on the wolf hunt to appease the federal government by doing something to help the caribou.
“They’ve created basically a caribou farm and continued the culling of wolves,” Rose told the Calgary Eyeopener Thursday.
“The importance of it is that predators are incredibly important to the ecosystem and when we do things against other species on the planet, when we demean and exploit other species, we continue to do no less to ourselves.”
Rose said the government has provided its own studies proving Alberta hasn’t seen a real increase in the caribou population in areas where the wolf cull is encouraged.
“It’s not working. Consistently over the past eight years these methods have been used and they are not working,” said Rose.
“We’re still seeing the caribou dying off because of loss of habitat, which is [caused by] human behaviour.”
Rose says the government has indicated it will be rewriting its wolf management plan by end of the year.
It has not been addressed since 1991.
With files from the Calgary Eyeopener