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But sheep and goats no longer allowed as pack animals under new B.C. hunting regulations

Wildlife activists are disappointed that B.C.’s latest hunting and trapping regulations did not eliminate trophy hunting of grizzly bears in the Peace region but grateful the number of permits has not increased. “Your letters made the difference between life and death for grizzlies in the Peace Region,” reads an announcement on the website of Pacific Wild, which had mobilized supporters to ask the provincial government not to triple the size of the hunt. “You helped us keep the Peace Region grizzly bear trophy hunt from getting even worse—without you, it would have been impossible.”

Updated every two years, B.C.’s latest hunting and trapping regulations are in effect from July 1, 2016, until June 30, 2018. There are about 3,500 active trappers in the province, and B.C.’s 100,000 resident hunters, along with guide outfitters, add around $350 million to the economy each year.

What has changed in the new regulations is that hunters are no longer permitted to use sheep and goats as pack animals anywhere in the province, or camelids (e.g., llamas) in the Omineca, Peace and Skeena regions (except Haida Gwaii). There are also additional record-keeping requirements for meat cutters and butchers.

An introductory letter in the regulations handbook from Minister of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations Steve Thomson says that the government is in the midst of a five-year research project to determine the causes of declining moose numbers. This summer, with the support of the BC Wildlife Federation and funding from the Habitat Conservation Trust Foundation, it will launch a downloadable BC Moose Tracker app for mobile devices so anyone can upload information on moose sightings directly from the field to an online database.

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