Nearly three quarters of British Columbians think that all hunting of grizzly bears should end, reveals a new poll from Insights West released this week.
The poll, which was funded through a partnership between Lush Cosmetics and the Commercial Bear Viewing Association, found 74% of a representative provincial sample are in favour of banning all hunting of the big bears in British Columbia, with 19% opposed.
Of note is that 58% of self-described hunters are also in favour of banning all grizzly bear hunting in the province.
“With such strong results from British Columbians, we believe that the government can go further and ban all hunting of grizzly bears across the province,” says Tricia Stevens, Charitable Giving Manager at Lush Cosmetics. “Scientists, bear viewing operators, conservationists and now even hunters are agreeing it’s time to protect this iconic species for once and for all.”
“The government has taken a good first step, but this poll reiterates the fact that the vast majority of British Columbians want to see an end to all hunting of grizzly bears, whether for trophies or meat,” says Julius Strauss of the Commercial Bear Viewing Association’s Political Committee and owner of Grizzly Bear Ranch. “It’s time to respect that wish. Some worry that such a ban will cost BC money, but the reality is that bear-viewing is worth far more to the province than grizzly hunting.”
The survey was conducted two weeks following the governmnet’s announcement that they would ban hunting of grizzly bears in the Great Bear Rainforeest, and ban the taking of traditional trophies (heads, paws, pelts), but still allow grizzlies to be hunted for their meat.
This polling makes it clear that doubts about the government’s science, questions regarding enforcement, and a shifting societal value on large animals such as grizzlies is changing. We hope the government will listen.