Dumping of severed bear paws in Shuswap denounced by Indigenous leaders, hunters | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Dumping of severed bear paws in Shuswap denounced by Indigenous leaders, hunters

The B.C. Conservation Officer Service is investigation after dozens of bear paws were found along a forest service road in the Shuswap.
Image Credit: TWITTER/B.C. Conservation Officer Service

Hunters and Indigenous leaders are united, decrying the horrific dumping of bear paws after dozens were found on a Shuswap forest service road.

"It's senseless," Robin Unrau, president of Hunters for B.C., said. "From a hunter's perspective, we want to ensure that whatever was dumped there was harvested legally. Why were they there? Was it harvested legally? And was it a poor choice by a taxidermist?"

Both the Shuswap Nation Tribal Council and the Union of B.C. Indian Chiefs condemned the actions of whoever was involved in the dumping of the bear parts.

The Shuswap Nation council of chiefs said in a media release it was "abhorred" by the discovery.

READ MORE: Dozens of severed bear paws found discarded in Shuswap: conservation service

"Our traditional stories teach us that the bear is a sacred animal forming the foundation of our creation law," the tribal council release reads. The tribal council plans to hold a ceremony to honour the bears that were discarded near Anglemont.

According to the Union of B.C. Indian Chiefs, hunter Brandi Hansen's gruesome finding demonstrates a persistent callousness towards the killing of animals.

"The carnage left behind indicates the actions of trophy or commercial poachers who hold a complete lack of respect for wildlife, hunting laws, and the rights of other resource users," release from the Union of B.C. Indian Chiefs reads.

The B.C. Conservation Officer Service has been tightlipped about the investigation so far.

David Karn, a spokesperson for the Ministry of Environment and Climate Change Strategy, said that any updates on the investigation will be posted in the conservation service's social media channels.

The charges those responsible may face can vary, Karn said, depending on whether the person is a hunter, poacher or taxidermist.

A hunter must abide by the hunting regulations set forth by the province, but a taxidermist, for example, may fall under municipal bylaws that control the improper disposal of animal parts.

Unrau with the Hunters for B.C. is holding out hope the dozens of declawed bear paws are the work of a taxidermist who made a poor decision, rather than a sign of black market activity in B.C.

"Its a grotesque industry that operates underground," Unrau said. "Every time something like this comes to light, it's a real nail in the coffin (for hunters)."

To contact a reporter for this story, email Levi Landry or call 250-819-3723 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

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