Judge will be asked to rule on legality of B.C. government killing wolves

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      Two environmental organizations, Pacific Wild and Valhalla Wilderness Society, are going to B.C. Supreme Court against the province's controversial wolf cull.

      In a news release issued today, the groups said that it comes as they anticipate a new permit will be issued to kill more wolves in the South Selkirk region of B.C.

      “To date, the province has neglected to protect and restore sufficient habitat for endangered caribou,” Ian McAllister, executive director of Pacific Wild, said in the news release. “We are asking the court to review whether, in the absence of sufficient, enforced habitat protection, culling wolves constitutes ‘proper wildlife management’.”

      They note that ministry officials have estimated that "the program will kill nearly 500 wolves and cost taxpayers approximately $2.2 million".

      A B.C. government report notes that the grey wolf has been designated as "Not at Risk" by the Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada.

      The report states that the "objectives of wolf management" include minimizing impacts on livestock and "to manage specific packs or individuals where predation is likely preventing the recovery of wildlife populations threatened by wolf predation".

      However, the environmental organizations argue that an unstated objective of the wolf cull is to appease the forest industry by not forcing it to give up more land to protect mountain caribou habitat.

      Their court action is supported by several other environmental groups, including the Association for the Protection of Fur-Bearing Animals and the Wilderness Committee.