Hundreds of grizzly bear skulls, skins, and rugs were imported into the United States in the last three years, the Globe and Mail reported this week, highlighting again the sad truth about the trophy hunt in British Columbia.
The controversial hunt, which is under fire both for its potentially species-threatening scientific inaccuracies, as well as strong public opposition, has continued despite ongoing campaigns to end it from virtually all corners of the political and socioeconomic spectrum.
Dr. Faisal Moola of the David Suzuki Foundation told the Globe that 40 per cent of grizzlies being hunted in BC are killed by Americans, though the government’s data indicates that number is closer to 29 per cent.
“The reason Americans are coming to Canada to shoot grizzly bears in B.C. is because there are no more grizzly bears in places like Washington State or California – or they are legally protected and you can’t shoot them, in places like Montana or Wyoming,” Dr. Moola said in an interview.
The European Union banned the importation of grizzly trophies in 2004 over conservation concerns.
Though guide outfitters – those who profit from the hunting of grizzly bears – claim that “highly qualified experts” say they’re killing a sustainable number of bears, studies by non-government scientists put those figures in question.
A peer-reviewed study by Raincoast Conservation Foundation, for example, indicated that the government figures failed to take into account “uncertainty,” a vital scientific concept that could make a significant difference in policy decisions.
As a result of this study, the Auditor General of British Columbia is now investigating whether or not the government policies “are effectively managing the grizzly bear population in BC.”
Guide outfitters, trophy hunters, and politicians can make all the irrational arguments they want about this hunt – the simple fact is it’s about greed. And no spin will change that.
We can’t influence the Auditor General’s investigation or findings, but we can keep pushing ourMLAs(if you live in BC) and the Ministry of Forests, Lands, and Natural Resources, to end the trophy hunt of grizzly bears. Write a letter to your MLA (click here to find them) and copy it to the Minister of Forests, Lands, and Natural Resources Steve Thomson (FLNR.Minister@gov.bc.ca) to tell them you want to see the trophy hunting of grizzly bears ended!
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