Letter to A/Chief CO’s: Welfare of trapped bears in extreme weather

BCBA: Policy/General Order request re trapping bear in extreme weather

Dear Deputy Chiefs Doyle and Schley,

The BC Bear Alliance (BCBA) was established to address key issues identified as challenges to human-bear coexistence and bear conservation, and present solutions to provincial and municipal governments or other stakeholders in British Columbia.

We write today to outline our concerns regarding the welfare of black bears in barrel traps at times of extreme heat or other extreme weather conditions. While we appreciate the BC COS and its officers are directed to use bear traps in shady, cooler areas with frequent monitoring during high temperatures, our concerns remain.

An increased frequency of calls and difficulty responding to many diverse needs, as explained by the BC COS in the media and reports, means the ability to appropriately monitor and respond to animals in bear traps is seriously hampered.

Extreme temperatures being reached across the province with greater regularity means that even in shady areas, deleterious impacts to animals in traps will increase and be more common.

As such, we are requesting that working with the Ministry of Forests, the BC COS implement a standing order to close all bear traps during extreme weather conditions.

We all know that dogs and children can’t be left in cars in this kind of extreme heat, even with the windows cracked. A bear in a baking tin is no different.

The BC Bear Alliance appreciates the hectic schedule and wide responsibilities of the BC COS, but given the timeliness, we hope to hear back in the next 24 hours that you will be pursuing this matter. The BCBA also stands ready to offer support however possible in creating and implementing said policy.

Thank you for your consideration.

Sylvia Dolson
Co-Chair, BC Bear Alliance

CC: Dr. Caeley Thacker, Wildlife Veterinarian, Ministry of Forests