Following a successful campaign to end the hunting of grizzly bears in British Columbia, Wildlife Defence League has launched a new #TrophyFreeBC initiative to ban the hunting of cougar, lynx and bobcat in the province. To accomplish this goal, the initiative will involve fieldwork, advocacy, education and research.
During late fall, winter and early spring, wild cats in the province are killed for trophy. Hunting cougar, lynx and bobcat is extremely difficult so hounds (often equipped with GPS collars), are used to track, chase and tree the animals. As the cat sits exhausted and defenceless, the trophy hunter follows the GPS signal to its location. While standing near the base of the tree, the animal is shot. Shooting at extreme angles and with tree branches often obscuring sightlines, a clean kill is never guaranteed.
There are glaring ethical issues with these hunts. For instance, while it’s illegal to kill a mother cougar in the presence of her kittens, killing a mother while she has left her kittens in the safety of a nursery or rendezvous site is legal. Orphaned kittens are often left to starve or are attacked by other predators and rarely survive. The use of hounds to hunt wild cats can separate mothers from their young; puts the dogs at unnecessary risk of injury and death and ultimately provides an unfair advantage that should not fall under the category of fair-chase.