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New fine for unreported grizzly bear parts in B.C. not high enough: Conservationist

THE CANADIAN PRESS/Mark Boyce

In an effort to enforce the existing ban on grizzly bear hunting that came in to effect last December, the B.C. government has made amendments to the Wildlife Act.

As of April 1, all taxidermists and tanners must report any grizzly bears or grizzly bear parts brought to them.

If they don’t do so within 10 days, they’ll be slapped with a $230 fine.

READ MORE: NDP bans grizzly bear hunt in B.C. effective immediately

The Raincoast Conservation Foundation says it’s a watershed moment for the province to finally ban grizzly bear hunting.

But Executive Director Chris Genovali says this new fine is too low and should be 10 times higher.

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“It’s a problem in general with fines when it comes to issues around wildlife in British Columbia,” he said.

READ MORE: BC Liberal MLA slams grizzly hunt ban as ‘thin edge of the wedge’

“If we want to motivate people to do the right thing and to feel like our wildlife is valued, then we need to look at fines that actually have some heft and some impact, and not these kind of token amounts.”

“If you compare it to, for instance, in the Capital Regional District here on southern Vancouver Island, it’s about the same fine if you don’t pick up your dog’s poop.”

Genovali says he hopes the ban will signal the start of a new era in terms of how the province interacts with, and relates to, all large carnivores.