PANEL: Pointless, Cruel and Dangerous: Predator Poisoning and Wolf Culls


Moderator: Julie W. MacInnes, Campaign Manager, Humane Society International Canada
Sheryl Fink, Director of Canadian Wildlife Campaigns, International Fund for Animal Welfare
Tommy Knowles, Executive Director, Wildlife Defence League Society
Sadie Parr, Executive Director, Wolf Awareness


Social, family-oriented and highly adaptable, wolves have a lot in common with dogs and humans. Unfortunately, a combination of old myths, fears and competition for land and prey has led to wolves being misunderstood and needlessly shot, poisoned, trapped and hunted for sport.

Many Canadians are surprised to learn that the highly-controversial poisons Strychnine, Compound 1080 and Sodium Cyanide are currently being used to kill wolves and other wildlife in Canada. The use of these highly toxic, non-selective poisons causes extreme and prolonged suffering, raising serious animal welfare concerns. They also pose a serious threat to human safety and to non-target species, including endangered species, companion animals and farmed animals.

This panel will have experts speak on why wolf culling programs have proven to be ineffective in the long-term in regaining prey populations and what other factors are truly causing population declines. The talk will then go through what non-lethal measures can be used to deal with predator conflict. There will also be an overview of the use of poisons being used to manage wildlife in Canada. We will discuss the ongoing campaign by a broad coalition of groups which seeks to ban the use, production, processing and sale of these poisons across Canada. Finally, the presentation will end with lessons learned on how to communicate campaigns such as these to decision-makers.


  1. Why Canada should ban specific poisons and end wolf culls.
  2. Alternatives and non-lethal methods.
  3. Lessons learned with coalition building and communicating to decision-makers.


Over the past five years, Julie MacInnes has been working on campaigns regarding animal welfare and ethical consumerism. As a member of HSI/Canada, Julie has participated in several animal protection campaigns, including wildlife campaigns to end the trade in the products of shark finning, opposing wolf culls, ending the commercial captivity of whales and dolphins and banning the trophy hunting of grizzly bears. She will be moderating this session.

As the International Fund for Animal Welfare’s Director of Wildlife Campaigns in Canada, Sheryl Fink’s focus is on conservation and animal welfare issues affecting wildlife within the country. She is active in IFAW’s campaigns to end commercial seal hunting, marine animals in captivity, trophy hunting of polar and grizzly bears, the exotic pet trade and commercial trade in wildlife.

Tommy Knowles is the co-founder and Executive Director of the Wildlife Defence League Society. He has worked in conservation for the last decade, including time spent with the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society in Antarctica, defending whales and other marine life. He believes in a more direct approach to wildlife conservation and supports initiatives that challenge unethical and inhumane wildlife management policies.

As the Executive Director of Wolf Awareness, Sadie Parr's work is centred on promoting wolf and large carnivore conservation through scientific research, education, and informed advocacy.  Parr is active in campaigns in Western Canada to end wild canid bounty programs and wolf reduction experiments, alternatively promoting compassionate conservation and wildlife management based upon a foundation of ethics as well as sound science and ecology.


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