Keywords: Wildlife Act – ss. 2, 19; Wildlife Act Permit Regulations – s. 1; British Columbia Livestock Protection Act – s.10; Ministry of Environment Policy 4.7.12.04 – Disposal and Storage of Dead Wildlife and parts
This was an appeal against a decision of the acting Regional Wildlife Manager, to refuse Mr. Schuk a permit to possess the hide of a grizzly bear that he shot, believing that it was the bear that killed one of his calves. Mr. Schuk wants a permit to possess the hide as compensation for the loss of the calf that it killed. The Regional Manager refused the permit on the grounds that he had no authority to issue a permit for compensation purposes and that government policy only allows personal possession of a dead grizzly bear where the circumstances of the killing of the bear are sufficiently exceptional.
The Panel found that a permit for possession of wildlife killed as nuisance or dangerous animals is authorized under section 1 of the Wildlife Act Permit Regulations or section 19 of the Wildlife Act. It also found that there was nothing in the legislation which prohibited issuing a permit as compensation for the loss of property or livestock due to predation by wildlife. However, in accordance with government policy, the Panel found that there were sufficiently exceptional circumstances in this case for issuing a permit to possess the bear hide. Mr. Schuk’s family had suffered livestock losses over the years due to wildlife predation, the grizzly bear had killed one of the calves from his herd and it was likely that the bear would come back for others. Accordingly, the Panel found that there were no alternative measures available to Mr. Schuk in the circumstances. The Panel ordered the Regional Manager to issue Mr. Schuk a permit to possess the grizzly bear hide and to release the hide to him. The appeal was allowed.