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Cities should cover the costs when bears killed on their land, say B.C. advocates

An animal rights charity has suggested that B.C. cities, towns and perhaps even homeowners should be charged each time a conservation officer is required to deal with a nuisance bear that’s habituated to human food or garbage.

The Furbearers argued this would encourage municipalities to implement strict bear-safe regulations, and ensure they are enforced.

“Quite frankly, hitting people in the pocketbook is one of the best ways to get compliance,” said executive director Lesley Fox.

“Otherwise these behaviours of not managing attractants - they’re never going to change,” she added.

It has been a particularly deadly year for black bears, with 151 destroyed by conservation officers in August alone.

Fox said it’s well-documented that removing unsecured garbage, bird feeders and ripe fruit that draw bears can save their lives, but there are still cities and towns in B.C. that don’t have adequate by-laws for managing attractants.

In fact, some areas are consistently, year after year, the most dangerous spot for bears.

“Why should the rest of us have to subsidize and compensate for those who continuously fall through the cracks?” she asked.

At the moment, it’s ultimately the provincial government that pays the bill every time an officer has to euthanize a bear. Top Stories

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