The Association for the Protection of Fur-Bearing Animals (The Fur-Bearers) offers the following as our submission on behalf of our organization and our more than 60,000 Canadian supporters to the Ministry of Forests, Lands, and Natural Resource Operations regarding changes to policies about hunting of grizzly bears in British Columbia:
It is our opinion that management of the hunting of grizzly bears, as well as the harvesting, tracking, and trafficking of various trophies, parts, or meats of their carcasses cannot be effectively accomplished within British Columbia at this time.
Major concerns highlighted within the Scientific Review of Grizzly Bear Harvest, as well as the recently released Auditor General’s Independent Audit of Grizzly Bear Management, must first be addressed before any changes to consumptive grizzly bear-related activities take place. It is also our belief that at this time it is imperative that a moratorium on grizzly hunting be instated until the aforementioned concerns are addressed.
Significantly, the existing and proposed policies do not consider:
- The vital need for increased monitoring and scientific review of grizzly populations throughout the province;
- The lack of management and follow-through of planning for critical habitats and related environments;
- The lack of funding, oversight, and tools for the Conservation Officer Service to efficiently educate and investigate existing policies, as well as clear and measurable goals and objectives for the future;
- How hunting currently interferes with the thriving and growing grizzly bear viewing industry, and how that will be managed moving forward.
Without immediate and overwhelming changes to the funding model of the involved Ministries, as well as the protocol for transparency, decision making, and management, we believe it behooves the provincial government to not put in place the proposed policies, but to suspend all grizzly hunting in British Columbia.