HSI/Canada applauds BC government for banning trophy hunting of grizzly bears

16 August, 2017, 15:54 | Author: Chad Mckenzie
  • BC government bans grizzly bear trophy hunt

Specifically, BC is outlawing the "trophy" hunting of grizzlies in the province, meaning that hunters can't kill the bears and leave with their heads, hides, or paws, reports the CBC.

The ban will take effect November 30, 2017, throughout the province - after this year's season, which opens Tuesday in the Peace River region, and later elsewhere.

Environmentalist David Suzuki supports the ban, but points out killing them for food will still be out allowed outside the Great Bear Rainforest and questions "how a grizzly bear food hunt could be regulated and enforced to ensure hunters do not needlessly shoot bears".

There are around 15,000 grizzly bears in the province.

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"Many British Columbians are not aware that for years there has been no legal hunt for the most at-risk populations of grizzly bears in B.C., yet some of these populations continue to decline to perilous levels", said Johnny Mikes, field director for CPAWS' Coast to Cascades Grizzly Bear Initiative. The NDP had promised to end trophy hunting during the campaign - which the Liberals had reinstated 16 years ago, according to the BBC. Big-game hunters may still hunt grizzlies, taking home photos of themselves with their kill instead of the bear's hide, head and paws, which will be prohibited.

In 2014, the Center for Responsible Travel published an economic analysis that found that bear viewing in the Great Bear Rainforest generated 12 times more tourism dollars than bear hunting.

Instead, Weaver said he wants to see legislation, along the lines of the Greens' own 2017 bill, which would remove preferential treatment for foreign hunters, and require that all usable meat be taken in any hunt.

Environmental groups were more supportive.

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Grizzly hunt opponents Wilderness Committee applauded the decision.

But wildlife advocates are concerned that providing the option to hunt bears for food will create a loophole for trophy hunting to continue.

But Andrew Weaver, of the Green Party, dismissed the ban as a stunt.

"Premier (John) Horgan is to be commended for ending this cruel and barbaric blood sport for good", Foy said in a statement.

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"Additionally, government will be moving forward with a broader consultation process on a renewed wildlife management strategy for the province", stated the release. The Trump administration announced in June that it was removing the Yellowstone grizzly bear from the endangered species list, because the bears' population has grown, as NPR's Colin Dwyer reported.

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