Parks Canada Sable Island plan questioned

May 19, 2010 at 2:47 PM
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TORONTO, May 19 (UPI) -- Canadian animal protection groups say they are concerned about the future of Sable Island's wild animals under Parks Canada's care.

Parks Canada recently announced Sable Island -- a small island about 111 miles southeast of mainland Nova Scotia in the Atlantic Ocean -- will be designated a national park.

"Contrary to public perception, wildlife is not protected in our national parks," said Liz White, executive director of the Animal Alliance of Canada. "In reality, these wild animals are often targeted and sometimes dealt with harshly by the very agency mandated to provide protection."

White said Parks Canada is considering or has already implemented the slaughter of:

-- Moose in Gros Morne and Terra Nova National Parks in Newfoundland.

-- Elk on Elk Island and in Banff.

-- Bison on Elk Island.

-- Whitetail deer on St. Lawrence Island and on Point Pelee.

"Sable Island is home to some of Canada's most treasured wild populations, including gray seals and many at-risk species," added Rebecca Aldworth, executive director of the Humane Society International/Canada. "We need clear assurances from the Canadian government that Sable Island's wild animals will be fully protected from all attempts by industry to slaughter and exploit them."

Since Sable Island is remote and public access is restricted, the conservation groups say the public and news media would be prevented from witnessing or documenting the slaughter of wild animals on the island.

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