SPCA remains at odds with Oak Bay over deer cull

Methodology deemed in line with animal cruelty rules

Oak Bay and the B.C. SPCA disagree on the why of the cull, but agree the how doesn’t contravene any laws.

The B.C. SPCA sought a meeting with Oak Bay over concerns relating to the request for proposals issued last December which outlines various protocols and contingency scenarios for the cull contractor. Dr. Sara Dubois, chief scientific officer for the B.C. SPCA, met with Oak Bay and CRD officials last week.

“We had a meeting with them. It was not to discuss the why, because we obviously agree to disagree on the why,” said Helen Koning, chief administrative officer for Oak Bay.

The B.C. SPCA sought the meeting last month over concern surrounding wording in the permit would contravene animal cruelty laws.

“We share the same concern, so we went through that,” Koning said. “What came out of that is they have confirmed we are not in offence under the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act.”

The way the RFP was written would have been an issue, said Sara Dubois. The “language written by the province is appropriate” on the permit, she said, but the society remains opposed to Oak Bay’s pilot project to cull deer in the community.

“There’s no reason to do the cull in our opinion,” Dubois said. “It’s unfortunate to watch this happen now. We don’t think it’s going to help. It’s really dividing the community and it could have been handled a different way.”

B.C. SPCA says it has no legal grounds to stop a permitted cull if the methods used do not contravene either the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act or the Criminal Code of Canada.

“However, in our enforcement role, our special constables will be investigating all legitimate complaints which relate to improper handling, inattention to animal distress and practices that fall outside of general accepted industry standards,” Dubois said.

“We have the authority to investigate how animals are used or killed in the province, but we do not have ability to control why or for what purpose animals are used or killed.”

 

cvanreeuwyk@oak baynews.com