B.C. not considering a wolf cull in new draft management plan

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VANCOUVER - The B.C. government has no plans to cull the province's wolves, despite calls from the cattle industry and some First Nations for a bounty on the iconic animal.

The government's draft management plan says there are approximately 8,500 wolves in the province — not much higher than the 8,100 estimated 20 years ago, and contrary to the belief of some advocating a cull.

The B.C. Cattlemen's Association and several First Nations groups in the Cariboo region have been asking for a provincial bounty program, saying wolves are taking an unsustainable toll on cattle and caribou populations.

The province has already lifted bag limits on wolves in some areas of the province, and the nine-point management plan suggests a low-cost hunting licence so kills can be better tracked.

But the plan says it recognizes the "political difficulty" of the issue and suggests only that the province investigate a statistical model that would help officials make decisions about pack culls.

Members of the public are invited to comment on the plan until Dec. 5, and then a final plan will be formed.

Organizations: First Nations

Geographic location: B.C. Cattlemen, VANCOUVER, Cariboo

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