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Government defends actions of conservation officer that killed bear cub near Dawson Creek

A bear cub rescued by a family near Dawson Creek was euthanized by a conservation officer who said the animal could not be rehabilitated. Photo by Tiana Jackson/Facebook
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VANCOUVER, B.C. — The Provincial government has responded to a lawsuit filed by a woman who found the black bear cub that was shot by a conservation officer in May of 2016, saying the officer acted within the scope of the law.

According to The Vancouver Sun, the lawsuit was filed by Tiana Jackson, who found the cub on a dirt road about 50 kilometres from Dawson Creek on May 6, 2016, and the Association for the Protection of Fur-Bearing Animals. The suit claims the Wildlife Act prohibits officers from killing animals unless they pose a threat to people, property or wildlife. The two parties say that the officer’s decision to euthanize the cub upon learning that it had been brought to Jackson’s home was against the law.

In response to the suit, the provincial government said in court documents that the law gives officers a large amount of discretion when it comes to destroying animals. The response also points to a section of the Wildlife Act that says the offences outlined in the act do not apply to an “officer engaged in the performance of his or her duties.” The act also “implicitly anticipates that conservation officers may need to euthanize wounded wildlife or wildlife that cannot otherwise survive in the wild,” the province says in the documents.

The court hearing is expected to wrap up later today.

Story courtesy The Vancouver Sun: http://vancouversun.com/news/local-news/b-c-government-defends-conservation-officer-for-killing-bear-cub

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