Critics call out Alberta's 'cruel' wolf cull program

Scientists raising questions about the ethics of Alberta's wolf cull are calling it cruel and unnecessary.

Hundreds of wolves killed to help caribou numbers

A group of conservation biologists have published a letter disputing the ethics of academic and government scientists who used wolf cull data as part of their study. (Chris Corday/CBC)

Scientists raising questions about the ethics of Alberta's wolf cull are calling it cruel and unnecessary. 

Conservation biologists have published a letter in a scientific journal about the program, which has killed hundreds of wolves in an attempt to help caribou numbers in west-central Alberta. 

The letter says university and government scientists who used the cull to gather data on its results violated  professional ethics. 

But a government biologist says there's no other way to keep wolf numbers low enough to help caribou other than by shooting the predators from helicopters or poisoning them. 

Dave Hervieux says stopping the cull would doom the herds and he makes no apology for using the information it generated to gauge how successful it has been. 

That research showed that killing wolves has stabilized caribou numbers, but barely. 

Comments

To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.