Decision Date: October 1, 2010
Panel: Loreen Williams
Keywords: Wildlife Act – ss. 2, 19(1); Permit Regulation – s. 2(b)(ii); permit; elk; problem wildlife
Linda Yaciw appealed a decision of the Regional Manager (the “Manager”), Environmental Stewardship, Northern Region – Peace, Ministry of Environment, denying her application for a five-year “kill permit”, to kill elk on her farm property located in the Peace River area of BC.
Under section 19(1) of the Wildlife Act (the “Act”) and section 2(b)(ii) of the Permit Regulation, a regional manager may issue a permit authorizing a resident to hunt, trap or kill wildlife on his or her own property during an open or closed season, for the purpose of controlling wildlife populations. Elk were causing problems on Ms. Yaciw’s farm, such as breaking fences and eating her horses’ food and minerals. Ms. Yaciw tried many methods to reduce the number of elk on her property, including changing the horses’ feeding schedule and inviting hunters to hunt elk on her property, but those methods were unsuccessful and caused additional problems. Ms. Yaciw applied to the Ministry for a kill permit, in order to protect her horses and reduce the elk population in her area. The Manager denied her application, and Ms. Yaciw appealed to the Board.
The Board acknowledged that Ms. Yaciw was facing great difficulties in her horse farming operation due to the presence of elk. However, the Board found that a kill permit is an extraordinary remedy that should only be issued as a ‘last resort’ to deal with problem wildlife. The Board held that, rather than killing elk under a permit, Ms. Yaciw could take further preventative measures such as installing elk-proof fencing around areas where feed is stored and horses are fed. The Board acknowledged that such fencing is costly and that Ms. Yaciw had explained that she could not afford it, but the Board found that fencing would provide the best protection and would reduce her losses of hay and minerals. Alternatively, if fencing was not feasible, the Board found that Ms. Yaciw was eligible to apply for a general hunting licence so that she could hunt elk on her property during the open season for elk. While this would not eliminate elk from the area, the Board held that even a kill permit would not achieve that result. For those reasons, the Board concluded that it was appropriate to deny Ms. Yaciw’s application for a kill permit, and the Board confirmed the Manager’s decision.
Accordingly, the appeal was dismissed.