An environment charity is calling on the provincial government to rethink its wolf cull after the release of dozens of “disturbing” images.
Pacific Wild Alliance received 46 images from the B.C. government April 12 after having pushed for the release photographic evidence, and on April 18 the charity released the “disturbing” and “extremely graphic” images to the public. A release from the Pacific Wild adds that internal government documents “suggest that thousands of other photos, as well as video, should be on file from the cull, but have not been released.”
The photos depict wolves being “killed by gunfire from helicopters” between 2015 and 2022, with the release noting the cull has run for eight years at a cost of more than $8 million in taxpayer dollars, and has been “challenged as unethical, unscientific, and inhumane.”
Pacific Wild animal law lawyer Rebeka Breder said some of the photos don’t align with what the public would consider as ethical treatment of wildlife.
“The government has repeatedly claimed that the cull is humane, but this photographic evidence suggests otherwise. This cull is inhumane and, in many cases, causes unnecessary suffering to wildlife.”
Pacific Wild also issued a letter to the provincial government and Water, Land and Resource Stewardship Minister Nathan Cullen calling on B.C. to proactively release all photos, videos and post-mortem reports to allow for independent scientific analysis and audit of the wolf cull.
The charity adds it is considering its legal options for holding the government to account for its treatment of wolves.
The cull was put in place in 2015 as a method of reversing, then-declining caribou populations.