Kootenay student starts petition to end wolf culling

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Kootenay student launches petition to end wolf slaughter

B.C.'s wolf culling program has been controversial since its inception in 2015.

A student from the Kootenays in the southeastern British Columbia, launched a petition that has already garnered more than 43,000 signatures calling on the province to stop killing wolves to save caribou.

Payton Maffioli, who attends Selkirk Community College, points out that the wolf population reduction program was originally a short-term solution to increasing the caribou population in British Columbia. Culling began in 2015.

The student adds that the number of caribou continues to decline despite the culling of wolves.

The real reason caribou populations are declining is that they are losing their habitat, she says.

Like caribou populations in eastern Canada, caribou herds from the west are in imminent danger of extinction.

Payton Maffioli says wolves are a keystone species, being essential for a healthy ecosystem.

“It's not just about wolves and caribou, it's about an entire ecosystem that no longer works. . [Wolf culling] is a policy that needs to change and there are certainly more sustainable options. »

— Payton Maffioli

Payton Maffioli says she's been a wolf activist since she was 15 and that's one of the reasons she decided to study Integrated Environmental Planning at Selkirk College.

Conservation and animal rights groups like the BC Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (BC SPCA) have also opposed culling in recent years.< /p>

In 2021, the Union of British Columbia Indian Chiefs added its voice to opponents of logging, including the wildlife and wildlife protection organization flora Pacific Wild.

When renewing its wolf culling program in 2022, the Ministry of Forests said: Although public opinion is taken taken seriously, wildlife management in British Columbia considers many factors and is primarily science-based.

Payton Maffioli hopes that his petition will at least serve to raise awareness of the issue among the population, especially young people.

With information from Corey Bullock

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