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Posted: January 14, 2014

Society seeks revocation of Elkford cull permit

In reaction to the news that the District of Elkford cull permit was suspended pending a Conservation Officer investigation, the BC Deer Protection Society has called for a complete revocation of the Elkford permit for 2014.

“The permit requires compliance,” said Liz White, spokesperson for the BC Deer Protection Society. “It is all very clearly stated in the General Conditions section which has as the first statement, ‘The permit holder must comply with all laws applicable to the activities carried out under this permit.’ Yet on the very first day of the cull the permit holder, the District of Elkford violated the conditions.”

“The ministry has every right to revoke the permit under the Compliance Advisory section,” White continued. The Compliance Advisory states:  Failure to comply with any term of this permit is an offence under the Wildlife Act, and may result in any or all of prosecution, suspension of the permit, cancellation of the permit, ineligibility for future permits and denial of future permit requests.

“Despite this Compliance Advisory, the district, as the permit holder and CP Trapping, as the permit implementer violated the permit by conducting the cull during daylight hours, said Devin Kazakoff, spokespersons for the Invermere Deer Protection Society and the BC Deer Protection Society.

“They did so even though I notified Mr. Van Tighem on that same day that the district was in violation,” Kazakoff continued.  “Mr. Purdy, the contractor responsible for conducting three prior culls, was operating under a permit with the same restrictions as the previous permits with regard to the designated times to cull.

“Given the blatant nature of the violation both on the part of the district and the contractor, we want the permit be cancelled and charges be considered” said Kazakoff.

“Anything less than cancellation and possible charges will send a message to such contractors and other municipalities that they can violate the permit with a tap on the hand,” said White. “The ministry staff must make it clear that this kind of behavior is completely unacceptable and will not be tolerated.”

The district responded by issuing a statement Jan. 10, that also provided an update to the public on its deer cull.

“The harvest commenced on January 6 and was temporarily suspended on the 7th by the province. Unfortunately the contractor violated a condition of the permit by harvesting deer on the sixth prior to darkness. An investigation by the district and the province immediately commenced and the matter has been addressed,” the district outlined.

Elkford’s permit authorizes the district to harvest up to 50 deer.

District chief administrative officer Curtis Helgesen told e-KNOW that town officials will be meeting with the province later this week to discuss the status of the permit.

Ian Cobb/e-KNOW

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