Nova Scotia

Cape Breton moose cull to resume this fall, says Mi'kmaq chief

A cull of moose in an area of the Cape Breton Highlands National Park will resume in the coming weeks, once a security plan is created to protect Mi'kmaq hunters, says Chief Rod Googoo of We'koqma'q.

Cull by Mi'kmaq hunters was originally called off after protests

The moose harvest was suspended Wednesday when opponents entered the restricted hunting zone to confront Mi'kmaq harvesters. (Courtesy APTN)

Mi'kmaq leaders say a controversial moose cull in the Cape Breton Highlands National Park will resume this fall.

It was put on hold earlier this week following a confrontation between about 30 protestors and Mi'kmaq harvesters.

Parks Canada says it wants to regenerate vegetation in an area where "hyperabundant" moose are eating saplings, but the Nova Scotia Federation of Anglers and Hunters opposes the cull, saying it was not consulted.

Only Mi'kmaq hunters have permission to kill the moose for this cull, which covers 20 square kilometres.  

One protestor, Dennis Day, said he's seen hardly any moose in their usual spots since last winter, and he believes the population was reduced by starvation and injury.

Mi'kmaq leaders say they held a conference call yesterday with Parks Canada and the Unama'ki Institute of Natural Resources.They say the cull will resume, once a plan has been developed to ensure the hunters' safety. 

The confrontation between Mi'kmaq hunters and protesters "was close" to getting physical on Wednesday, Day said. 

We'koqma'q Chief Rod Googoo said Parks Canada will develop that plan, with the assistance of the RCMP. He couldn't say how quickly that might happen. 

Googoo also says the protestors were not part of the conference call.

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