British Columbia

High court won't hear case about euthanized B.C. bear cub

The Supreme Court of Canada has refused to consider an appeal of a ruling that B.C. conservation officers have discretion when destroying wild animals.

Court rejects appeal of ruling giving conservation officers discretion to destroy animals

The orphaned black bear cub, pictured in May 2016, before it was destroyed by a conservation officer who deemed the animal could not be rehabilitated. (The Fur Bearers/Tiana Jackson/THE CANADIAN PRESS)

The Supreme Court of Canada will not hear a case about the authority of conservation officers to euthanize wildlife,  following the controversial death of an orphaned bear cub.

The high court refused Thursday to consider an appeal of a ruling that B.C. conservation officers have discretion when destroying wild animals.

Tiana Jackson discovered the black bear cub in 2016 and called a rehabilitation centre in Smithers, B.C., that was willing to accept the animal.

A member of the provincial Conservation Officer Service examined the cub, decided it could not be rehabilitated and euthanized the animal.

Association filed original complaint

The Association for the Protection of Fur-Bearing Animals filed a complaint against the service on behalf of Jackson, arguing officers can kill wild animals only when they are likely to harm people, property, wildlife or habitat.

Senior officials of the conservation service dismissed the complaint and the B.C. courts turned down subsequent appeals, prompting the association to take its case to the Supreme Court.

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