Deer in British Columbia’s Cranbrook

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Undercover footage shows the cruelty of Cranbrook’s secret deer cull

Letter to Minister Thomson

Media Release: January 12, 2016

In 2012, Animal Alliance was contacted by BC residents who were fighting to stop the proposed deer cull slated for three communities in central BC and under consideration in Greater Victoria.

The City of Cranbrook was the first to cull in 2011/12, killing 25 deer, followed by Kimberley at 99 deer and Invermere at 19 deer.

Residents in Invermere took their Council to court to get the cull stopped.  The court case is proceeding.  As a result of the court case, other communities decided to put their cull plans on hold until the courts ruled on Invermere.

Working together Animal Alliance and a dedicated group of BC residents decided to form the British Columbia Deer Protection Society.  The Society includes the Invermere Deer Protection Society, the Humane Treatment of Urban Wildlife, DeerSafe Victoria and Animal Alliance.

The Issue:

BC has seen unprecedented development in the past decade. Habitat is being destroyed as housing developments and connecting roads are built ever further into wild areas. Properties that formerly sheltered deer who co-existed with humans within city limits are being sub-divided and developed, leaving the animals with nowhere to go. Highways have been expanded to accommodate growing traffic, endangering wildlife in their habitat outside city limits.

Some residents are intolerant of the appearance of deer in their communities, and have written to their councils demanding that these animals be removed. In response to pressure from local governments asking for solutions to their deer complaints the Ministry of Environment commissioned a wildlife biologist to prepare a report. This report favoured the clover trap/ boltgun method of culling urban deer, a method that was developed in Helena, Montana to destroy deer where sharpshooting near residential areas is too dangerous to the human population.

The BC Deer Protection Society is committed to ending this cruelty.  We advocate a prevention and non-lethal intervention programme.


In October 2012, the Mayor of Cranbrook, Wayne Stetski, said that Cranbrook would also wait until the Invermere Court case was heard.

However, in February 2013, we received confidential information that Cranbrook Council had already met in secret and decided to proceed with a cull.  As it turns out our source was correct and as the cull began so did our campaign to stop it.


Media Release – March 1, 2013 – Controversy swirls as deer cull stopped!

Media Release – February 21, 2013 – Deer Cull Continues in Secret!

Article – February 18, 2013 – A Different Approach to the ‘Deer Problem’

Media Release – February 14, 2013 – Will Cranbrook Kill Deer this Winter? Rumour says YES.

Report- June 19, 2012 – Developing a Progressive Non-Lethal Human / Deer Conflict Resolution Strategy for British Columbia

What You Can Do

Animal Alliance, in co-ordination with residents and local animal protection groups, is working to convince the City of Cranbrook that humane, non-lethal, ethical and environmentally sensitive methods can be used successfully.

We need to make sure that the Mayor and Members of Council employ these methods in the deer management programme. Please call and write the Mayor and Members of Council urging them to implement a non-lethal prevention programme. Hand-written letters are best, but you can also print our sign-on letter by clicking here.

Mayor Lee Pratt
City of Cranbrook
40 – 10th Avenue South
Cranbrook, BC V1C 2M8

Tel: 250-426-4211
Fax: 250-426-7264


We urge you to become a supporter by donating to Animal Alliance.  Your donation will help us:

  1. Support those in Cranbrook who are campaigning against the cull;
  2. Pressure the Mayor and Members of Council to make sure there is no cull next year; and
  3. Build community support, bringing residents together to develop a collaborative non-lethal approach to human/deer conflicts instead of a controversial cull which is currently dividing residents.

For more information about the BC Deer Protection Society, visit