Victory As British Columbia Bans Trophy Hunting Of Grizzly Bears

It will officially become illegal for trophy hunters to kill grizzly bears in British Columbia before the end of this year!

Welcome news to a host of conservationists and environmental groups who have spent decades campaigning against the vile so-called “sport” by hunters.

“Effective November 30, 2017, the British Columbia government will end grizzly bear trophy hunting throughout the province and stop all hunting of grizzlies in the Great Bear Rainforest, Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development,” Minister Doug Donaldson said in a statement on Monday, 24 hours prior to the start of the 2017 fall bear hunting season. “In particular, we owe it to generations past and future to do all we can to protect the beauty and uniqueness of the Great Bear Rainforest. We believe the action we’re taking goes beyond the commitment to Coastal First Nations made as part of the 2016 Great Bear Rainforest agreements.”

According to government figures, there are an estimated 15,000 grizzly bears in British Columbia, of which approximately 250 are killed annually by trophy hunters.

Raincoast Conservation Foundation is among the organizations hailing the ruling by the government to end the hunting of grizzly bears in the Great Bear Rainforest as a solid step in the right direction for wildlife management in British Columbia.

Sadly though, while the trophy hunt will end, hunting for meat will be allowed to continue.

“We extend our gratitude to the new NDP provincial government for taking this very positive action on behalf of grizzlies in the Great Bear Rainforest,” said Chris Genovali, executive director for Raincoast, though the organization did clarify that it is reserving judgement regarding the accompanying “food hunt only” policy for the grizzly hunt in the rest of the province until more details are forthcoming.

“Ensuring a so-called food hunt, all trophy parts of the bear, e.g. the head, the hide, and the paws, would have to be surrendered by hunters to provincial wildlife authorities,” continued Genovali. “That said, virtually no one legitimately hunts grizzlies for food, killing these bears is strictly a trophy hunt.”

As per Raincoast, Donaldson’s announcement is recognition and support of the alternative, non-extractive, sustainable economic activity represented by coastal wildlife viewing and eco-tourism; bear viewing in the Great Bear Rainforest generates more than 10 times the revenue of grizzly hunting.

Donaldson, who acknowledged that the move to ban the trophy hunting of grizzly bears was supported by the vast majority of people across the province, also stated that the government will continue to build a renewed wildlife management strategy which will include dedicated funding for wildlife and habitat conservation and a collaborative process in developing.

In the meantime, grizzly bear advocates plan to keep the pressure on the government to ensure that there are no loopholes that can be exploited.

“There is simply no scientific, ethical or economic rationale to continue the trophy hunt and banning it will be celebrated around the world,” Pacific Wild’s Krista Roessingh said in a release. “We urge the province to make the ban complete and not allow for the loophole of killing grizzly bears for meat instead of for a trophy – no one hunts grizzly bears for meat so this should be simply taken off the table.”

WAN couldn’t agree more! This is a complete contridiction and there is absolutely no excuse for killing these innocent bears; especially for their meat. Who eats their meat anyway?

For more information on ways to help, please visit the websites of the Raincoast Conservation Foundation and Pacific Wild.

You can help all animals and our planet by choosing compassion on your plate and in your glass. #GoVeg

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