Alberta hunting group says government should double number of wildlife officers

EDMONTON - The president of the Alberta Fish and Game Association says the shooting of dozens of animals by suspected poachers this fall is deplorable.

In just one area near Edson, wildlife officers are investigating the deaths of more than two dozen deer, elk, moose and a black bear —the carcasses were left on the ground to rot.

Association president Gord Poirier (POUR'-ee-ay) says there have also been cases of drunken people out hunting and people shooting animals at night from vehicles.

Poirier says the Alberta government needs to more than double the number of wildlife officers to about 250 and impose tougher penalties.

Alberta's Justice Department says 112 wildlife officers are involved in investigating between 750 to 1,000 reported poaching cases each year.

Twelve more officers are due to join the service in December, but they will be replacing people who are retiring.