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.”

Just Posted

Agassiz, Harrison organizations receive more than $140K in gaming grants

Grants will go to support local sports, arts groups for the 2019-20 fiscal year

Brother of Chilliwack homicide victim killed in Surrey on Remembrance Day

Andrew Baldwin shot on Nov. 11, three weeks after Keith Baldwin shot in downtown Chilliwack

Volunteer organization provides first aid and rescue services

Main fundraiser, the Winter Extreme Ski and Board Swap, takes place at Abbotsford Exhibition Park Nov. 16 and 17

Highway 1 crash in Langley slowing traffic

Accident happened at 232nd Street and has left one car on the right shoulder

Local researcher hopes history can uncover an identity for Harrison

Veronique Astles believes Harrison has more history to uncover than just the resort

VIDEO: Agassiz, Harrison honour Remembrance Day

The annual ceremony took place at AESS, followed by a moment of silence at the Agassiz cenotaph

‘It’s been 12 years’: Father of murdered B.C. real estate agent pleads for mayor’s help

Lindsay Buziak was stabbed to death on Feb. 2, 2008 in Saanich. Her case is unsolved.

B.C. to restrict nicotine content, bring in 20% tax on vaping products

Province will also restrict candy and fruit flavoured vaping products to adult-only stores

B.C. woman sends fight to reduce preventable medical errors to Victoria

Teri McGrath and South Okanagan senior’s centre members presented 150 signature petition to local MLA

B.C. First Nation Chief Ed John faces historic sex charges

John served as minister for children and families under then-premier Ujjah Dosanjh

Nearly half of B.C. drivers nervous in winter conditions: BCAA

‘Wait and see’ approach common practice for 32% of B.C. motorists

Yelling at your dog might hurt its long-term mental health: study

Researchers find dogs trained using negative reinforcement are more ‘pessimistic’

At least 3 hurt in California school shooting, gunman sought

Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department looking for a male suspect in black clothing was seen at the location

Transgender inmate in Surrey denied transfer to women’s prison

Petitioner argued denial of transfer to women’s prison was unreasonable and unfair

Most Read