A disturbing video shared on a Chilliwack social media page shows a coyote being chased along a potholed road.
“Run over it! Run over it!” someone can be heard shouting in the video.
“That’s pretty disgusting,” Sgt. Don Stahl of the Conservation Officer Service (COS) said after viewing the video.
It was almost certainly a wild coyote trying to get away from the vehicle, Stahl said, adding he was 99 per cent sure of it.
“If anyone knows where this occurred, or any other details, could they please give the RAPP line a call.”
The Report All Poachers and Polluters (RAPP) line number is 1-877-952-7277.
A video clip of the chase was later re-posted with the comment: “Apparently abusing wild animals is funny to this group of guys. Tormenting innocent animals does not ever make you seem cool. Just plain mean.”
Someone replied: “Sure. Innocent coyotes that kill my chickens every few weeks. I let it go anyways.”
Farmers have the right to kill animals preying on their livestock, since they are taking out the guilty party and killing it instantly and humanely by shooting it on sight, Stahl said.
But not like this.
The terrified animal seen running away in the video that was posted on the Chilliwack BEWARE Facebook group on Nov. 24 was “most likely” not responsible for killing any livestock, the officer said, since it looks like the footage was shot in the bush or along a Forest Services Road.
Also there were no coyote-chasing reports called in to the RAPP line, Stahl said.
“It is illegal to harass or chase wild animals like that, from what looks like an ATV, or off-road vehicle,” Stahl said. “You can legally shoot it on your farm, but you cannot go into the woods and run an animal down with a vehicle.”
They have previously charged and convicted individuals of harassing wildlife, from a snowmobile, in one case, the CO added.
Under section 27(3) of the Wildlife Act of B.C. it is illegal to chase and distress a wild animal. The act states: “A person who herds or harasses wildlife with the use of a motor vehicle, aircraft, boat or other mechanical device commits an offence.”
The Wildlife Act says someone convicted in this section is subject, on a first conviction, to a fine of not more than $100,000 or to a term of imprisonment not exceeding one year, or both.