Can’t kill bears for eating honey

Maple Ridge, Pitt Meadows Farmers encouraged to use electric fencing

Conservation officers refused to kill a family of black bears in northern Pitt Meadows on Tuesday despite a farmer’s insistence to do so because they destroyed his bee hives.

“We are not going to do that,” said Sgt. Todd Hunter, supervisor for the Fraser North Zone of the B.C. Conservation Officer Service, which includes Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows.

Last year, a bee farmer in Maple Ridge was convicted of killing more than 10 bears and fined $35,000 under the Canada Wildlife Act.

Hunter said the farmer felt that, under the act, which allows for the killing of bears to protect against an immediate threat to human life or property, with no other recourse, he was justified.

But it was not lawful, Hunter said, because the farmer was able to protect his hives with electric fencing.

It is also not lawful to kill a bear that is eating fish left on a porch, or a steer on Crown land subject to a grazing licence.

It is not lawful to kill a bear that is not an immediate threat to life, such as one repeatedly walking through a back yard while people are in their house, or frightening someone while they are in their truck, or hanging around a hunting camp.

“We want to make sure all alternatives are met before destroying bears,” Hunter said.

The Maple Ridge bee farmer was able to avoid paying much of the fine by taking part in a restorative justice program and improved the security around his hives.

The Pitt Meadows farmers also had insufficient fencing around his hives, Hunter added.

“We want to do everything possible to prevent bear conflicts.”

The conservation office will provide information about electric fencing to keep bears away from bee farms, as well as how to store food and food waste.

It is important to know, he said, the Conservation Officer Service will ensure that an appropriate and consistent enforcement response is taken for any unlawful killing.

“This includes conducting a thorough investigation to ensure an individual’s actions were permitted under the Wildlife Act.”

The Conservation Officer Service understands the significant financial investment associated with bee keeping and is willing to work with bee keepers on a case-by-case basis, Hunter said.

“However, we must also follow the law and the provisions under the Wildlife Act. Steps must be taken by the bee keepers to ensure that bears cannot access beehives, the most effective long-term solution being bear electric fencing.”

Hunter added: “We can’t just go around removing bears without cause. We are not going to be engaging in that practice.”

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

COVID-19 testing centre opens at Fraser Canyon Hospital

30 tests can be done at the collection centre each day, health authority reccommends booking ahead

Chilliwack man hoping to restore ‘59 Chevy with big lottery win

Hervey Blois, a retired veteran, says he’s ‘dumbstruck’ by $500,000 win on lottery website

SD78 board: Cautious optimism, anxiety mix as school year begins

To say it’s been an eventful two months for Superintendent Balan Moorthy… Continue reading

Defence in Fraser Valley chicken abuse cases asks BC Supreme Court to drop the charges

Sofina Foods and Chilliwack company say undercover video by ‘vigilante group’ violates Charter rights

Fraser Health confirms expanded COVID-19 testing services coming

Long lines, several days waiting list as demand for testing surges in region

Weekend sees 267 cases, 3 deaths in B.C.; Dr. Henry says events leading to COVID spread

There are currently 1,302 active cases in B.C., while 3,372 people are under public health monitoring

Lightning strike: Tampa Bay blanks Dallas 2-0 to win Stanley Cup

Hedman wins Conn Smythe Trophy as playoff MVP

Liberals seek to fast track new COVID-19 aid bill after CERB expires

Government secured NDP support for legislation by hiking amount of benefits by $100 to $500 per week

Police investigating shooting in North Delta

Police say occupants of two vehicles exchanged gunfire near 120th Street and 82nd Avenue

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

B.C. VOTES 2020: Echoes of HST in B.C. debate over sales tax

Cannabis, tobacco, luxury cars still taxed in B.C. Liberal plan

TransLink CEO asks riders not to enforce mask rules after Surrey bus punch-up

A fight broke out on a bus at 96 Avenue and Scott Road involving a man who refused to wear a mask

She warned her son about toxic drugs, then he was dead

Donna Bridgman’s son died at the age of 38 in Vancouver

B.C. food and beverage producers set record sales in 2019

Farmed salmon again leads international exports

Most Read