Cashin calls for cull, Wiseman calls for calm

James McLeod
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Richard Cashin— File photo

Former politician and labour leader Richard Cashin is calling for a cull of moose in Newfoundland.

But Environment Minister Ross Wiseman says the government is already doing “something that’s akin to a cull without calling it a cull.”

Wiseman said the government has increased the number of moose licences by 5,000 this year, at a time when the province’s moose population is in steady decline.

Cashin held a news conference Thursday afternoon accusing the government of refusing to cull moose because it would be distasteful to the public.

“It’s now, I guess, the official position of the provincial government, that a cull is socially unacceptable,” he said.

“I think that to give us what it should be would be a drastic cut of at least 50,000 animals.”

Cashin compared the stance to Greenpeace and other animal rights groups condemning the annual seal hunt.

The news conference, organized by the Save Our People Action Committee (SOPAC), came one day after the provincial government announced money for pilot projects with moose fences and animal detection systems on the Trans-Canada Highway.

Cashin said the announcement was just a distraction; the bottom line is there are too many animals on the island which are affecting the ecosystem and making driving dangerous.

But Wiseman said there has been a steady decrease in the number of moose since around 1997.

Despite the declining numbers, he said the government has been increasing moose licences, especially in areas along the Trans-Canada Highway.

This year, he said, the government issued more than 33,000 licences.

As far as the idea of refusing to cull moose because it’s “socially unacceptable,” Wiseman said that couldn’t be further from the truth.

For starters, he said, hunting is a socially acceptable, proud part of Newfoundland and Labrador culture.

Moreover, he said, the government is increasing the number moose licences.

“If that was a guiding principle that we use, then clearly we wouldn't have increased the number of moose licences this year to 33,000,” he said.

Wiseman also said it’s important for people to know that there are around 100,000 moose in the province.

According to literature provided at the SOPAC news conference, “According to current estimates approximately 125,000-150,000 moose live in Newfoundland today.”

Wiseman said that’s simply not the case. He said that to his knowledge, the Department of Environment and Conservation is the only entity in the province which is actively tracking the number of moose.

Twitter: TelegramJames

Organizations: SOPAC, Greenpeace, People Action Committee Trans-Canada Highway.Cashin Department of Environment and Conservation

Geographic location: Newfoundland and Labrador

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Recent comments

  • Randy
    July 08, 2011 - 11:37

    Wiseman makes me laugh.This is the guy who didn't know anything about false cancer testing,or at least sat on reports,instead of letting us know,,now he knows all about the number of moose. Don't believe you Ross,,your integrity was shot years ago..Oh ya ,he took all the liberal money from an election,won,,then crossed the floor to join the pc's right after..This guy just oozes honesty

  • Darrell
    July 08, 2011 - 10:13

    What allot of people don't factor into this is preditors.If we leave coyoties alone they will distroy enough moose to compensate for you so called cull.For the blind sighted people calling for this if you don't believe that just look at the remainding caribou here on the island.

  • Gerry
    July 08, 2011 - 10:05

    To Ashamed. You are very adept at titling your comments name as "Ashamed" for so you should. Number 1 . You ask how old Richard Cashin is. What difference how old he is. What has age got to do with the price of wheat? You leave one with the impression that a chronological determinate might be a reason to discriminate and consequently thus reduce in value their opinion, or participation in any public action or discourse. How shameful of you ! Number 2. You say that moose are part of our culture and heritage. I'm afraid I would not go so far as to include this animal in such a category. The moose are not indigenous to Newfoundland. They were introduced to the Island as part of a family of four, from New Brunswick, in 1904. Hardly in the same "culture and heritage" classification as the "cod" or the "caribou" or as the "Irish, English, Scottish, or French" people of the Province. And by the way, I am not a Liberal nor a Union Leader supporter and I do not know Richard Cashin. And regardless of my age, I have a right to express my opinion and be part of any group or discussion I choose, without being discriminated against (as long as that group is a lawful one). And of course you have the right to not give a damn about what my opinion might be . Now have a nice day.

  • harry
    July 08, 2011 - 09:30

    how do miseman get any time for other business if hes in da woods counting moose every day lol .

  • Brian
    July 08, 2011 - 07:37

    They have no actual count it's just an estimate. You know how governments are with estimating!!!!!. DO THE CULL and eliminate the pool for licenses. Having to leave the Avalon and go to central or western NL. to get a moose should not have to happen.

  • Phoebe Tilley
    July 08, 2011 - 07:11

    Of the 33,000 extra licences tell us Minister Wiseman how many of that 33,000 actually got a moose. Your logic is the same as if I went afilled my car with gasoline and put an extra $20 in my portable gas can to use in my snow blower but if I never use my snow blower in July what have I actually accomplished by having that extra gasoline. That seems to be your logic Minister Wiseman, issue more licences and the problem will go away even if your magical number of moose are never actually taken out of the system. Perhaps the moose remains can be thrown into the waters of Trinity Bay in your district in the Clarenville area where raw sewage is flowing freely into that bay constantly because nobody in government sees a need to build a sewage treatment plant. Perhaps the tourism department can market that and have a contest to see who can spot the most little brown floating objects in a 24 hour period and the winner get a moose licence.

  • Ashamed
    July 08, 2011 - 06:47

    This SOPAC group is embarrassing! They want fencing....they get a pilot project to determine it's they're getting more than just fencing. Now they get former politicians coming back to run their campaign? How old is this guy anyways? Was he around when they ran the fishery into the ground? Sounds like he could be because leave it up to him, and SOPAC, and moose would be extinct, which would be a catastrophe. They are a part of our culture and our heritage.