December 23, 2017

CANADA: British Columbia Bans All Grizzly Bear Hunting 🐻👏💖😊

Humane Society International, Canada
written by Staff
Monday December 18, 2017

HSI/Canada applauds BC government leadership in protecting bears

MONTREAL—Effective immediately, the Government of British Columbia has ended hunting of grizzly bears throughout the province. The move follows a longstanding campaign by animal welfare, conservation and First Nations groups seeking full protection for grizzlies. Humane Society International/Canada commends the BC Government for heeding public opinion and ensuring that trophy hunting of grizzlies is truly stopped in BC.

Rebecca Aldworth, executive director of Humane Society International/Canada, issued the following statement applauding the ban:

“The BC government has shown strong leadership and wise governance in ending the hunting of grizzlies throughout the province. The decision eliminates loopholes that would have allowed trophy hunting of grizzlies to continue, while respecting the will of the overwhelming majority of BC residents. Grizzly hunting has no place in the 21st century, and today's announcement is a crucial step forward in protecting these majestic animals from senseless cruelty.”

Globally, HSI has been at the forefront of a powerful movement to stop cruel trophy hunting for good by blocking the trade in wildlife trophies, strengthening legal protections for wild animals, and educating the public about the devastating impacts of trophy hunting.

  • Trophy hunters have killed hundreds of grizzlies each year in British Columbia.
  • Trophy hunting results in high wounding rates, with wild animals routinely left to suffer for extended periods of time before hunters retrieve them.
  • Public opinion polling reveals that more than 90 percent of BC residents oppose trophy hunting.
  • Grizzlies are listed as a species of "Special Concern" by the Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada.
  • A 2013 study published in the Public Library of Science found that trophy hunting may be causing declines in bear populations, and that hunters were exceeding government quotas in half of the populations studied.
  • Further independent studies have found that former government estimates of bear populations in BC are inaccurately high and, in reality, populations are too low to sustain current hunting levels.
  • A 2012 study by the Center for Responsible Travel and Stanford University found that bear-viewing businesses in BC's Great Bear Rainforest generated 12 times more visitor spending than bear hunting.
Gear Junkie
written by Sean McCoy
Tuesday December 19, 2017

The Canadian province of British Columbia announced an outright ban on grizzly bear hunting on Monday, one month after banning trophy hunting.

The new regulations ban hunting grizzlies for meat and trophies.

Doug Donaldson, B.C.’s minister of forests, lands, and natural resources, announced Monday that the ban follows the wishes of B.C. residents, including representatives of First Nations.

“It is abundantly clear that the grizzly hunt is not in line with their values,” said Donaldson. He said his department consulted with First Nations, other stakeholder groups, and the public in recent months about the hunt.

Who Hunted Grizzlies?

There are about 15,000 grizzly bears in British Columbia. Each year, hunters harvested about 250. Before a ban on trophy hunting in October, hunters killed grizzlies largely for their hides, paws, and heads.

Unlike most game animals, some places (including B.C.) allowed hunters to legally leave grizzly meat behind. This is because some consider its flesh very poor for consumption. Leaving behind game meat of most animals is illegal and considered unethical by hunters.

Thus, B.C. banned the trophy hunt in October 2017. But it allowed a meat hunt – until now.

First Nations: Still Allowed Grizzly Harvest

First Nations members will still be permitted to hunt bears for food, social and ceremonial purposes, and treaty rights, reported CTV News in Vancouver. The aboriginal Canadian group celebrated the hunting prohibition as an “important step toward reconciliation.”

B.C. Grizzlies Facing Habitat Challenges

According to a report by the province’s auditor general, “The greatest threat to grizzly bears is not hunting, but rather, human activities that degrade grizzly bear habitat.”

The expansion of oil and gas extraction activities, human settlement, and expanded infrastructure have reduced grizzly bear habitat, concluded Carol Bellringer, auditor general.

Hunters in B.C. spoke out against the ban. The B.C. Wildlife Association, a conservation organization that supports sustainable hunting and fishing, said the consultation process was unfair to hunters.

Jesse Zemen, Director of Fish and Wildlife Restoration for the B.C. Wildlife Association, said the government did not ask questions about an outright ban during the consultation process. Thus, hunters were blindsided by the announcement yesterday.

The B.C. Liberal Party also came out against the ban. “It’s sad to see the NDP has abandoned scientific-based decision making in favor of political calculus designed to appease U.S.-based environmental groups,” it said in a statement.

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