04/09/2013 09:05 EDT | Updated 06/09/2013 05:12 EDT

B.C. community's deer-hazing permit goes to the dogs over regulations

KIMBERLEY, B.C. - The B.C. government has denied a deer-hazing permit to the southeastern City of Kimberley, saying it won't permit the animals to be harassed by dogs.

Municipal councillors voted recently to apply for a 48-hour experimental hazing permit because they wanted to frighten deer that have made their home in the city.

There have been numerous reports of habituated deer kicking and chasing people and pets in the province's south and southeast, and Kimberley culled 100 deer in January 2012.

Although culls are allowed, Brennan Clark, a provincial government spokesman, said the Wildlife Act doesn't currently allow dogs to pursue deer, although rules allow dogs to hunt wildlife in specific circumstances.

He says the government is reviewing the possibility of amending the regulations but such an amendment could take at least a year.

Members of the BC Deer Protection Coalition say they are disappointed because hazing is a viable alternative to culling.

"Hazing was part of a multi-pronged approach and now that has been taken away from the city," said coalition spokeswoman Colleen Bailey.

"We are going to make this a campaign issue and to fight for changes that will allow municipalities to access a full range of non-lethal approaches to resolving human-deer conflicts in their communities."