Vancouver Island’s town councils are showing their support for a moratorium on wolf hunting ahead of a meeting of municipalities in May.
A resolution written by the District of Oak Bay calls on the provincial government to implement a moratorium on recreational wolf hunting on Vancouver Island, pending the completion of a study on unrestricted wolf harvesting practices.
The resolution specifically calls for consultation with Indigenous communities and a scientific study on the Island’s bio-diversity and sustainability of the resident wolf population.
Oak Bay’s resolution is to be presented at the AGM and Convention of the Association of Vancouver Island and Coastal Communities (AVICC) in May.
Already, multiple councils have endorsed the moratorium and will be sending their own letters of support.
Both Colwood and Metchosin councils unanimously supported the moratorium at separate meetings on April 12.
“I think all of us are horrified at the thought of losing our wolves,” said Mayor John Ranns during Metchosin’s council meeting.
“A very slight note of caution: we saw what happened when some bears crossed over and started eating our livestock. So far, there’s never been an incident that the wolves had done that, and I don’t anticipate they will, but if they do, I just hope that the conservation people can single out the culprits without causing any damage to the actual packs.”
The resolution follows a controversial incident where a local hunter allegedly killed multiple wolves near Sooke, sparking public outcry.
Sooke Mayor Maja Tait has written a letter to Natural Resource Operations Minister Katrine Conroy in support of the moratorium while condemning the rumored slaughter and threats the hunter had made earlier about the pack.
“Many of us in Sooke were sickened by this callous threat, especially given how all levels of government and many NGOs are working so hard, effectively and strategically to protect wildlife and habitat,” Tait wrote.
“A moratorium on hunting and trapping on Vancouver Island is urgent and essential until we learn more about the island’s wolf population.”