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February 16, 2010

The "Sport" That Should Be Banned

Growing international network calls on the B.C. government to ban the trophy hunting of bears in the Great Bear Rainforest

Humane Society International/Canada

Vancouver B.C.—In less than two months, the B.C. government plans to open the trophy hunt of bears in the internationally celebrated Great Bear Rainforest. Trophy hunters will be allowed to gun down vulnerable grizzlies and black bears as they emerge from hibernation.

A growing international network consisting of First Nations, conservation, animal protection and tourism groups—representing more than 15 million members and constituents from over 40 countries—is calling on the government [PDF] to ban the trophy hunt for ethical, cultural, conservation and economic reasons.

"This is not a sport, it is a senseless slaughter," said Art Sterritt, Executive Director of Coastal First Nations. "The trophy hunt goes against every moral teaching that we carry and is disrespectful to our culture and values."

"When one looks at the diversity of groups calling for action, from First Nations and wildlife viewing businesses to some of the world's leading conservation and animal welfare organisations, it is clear that the time has come to end this anachronistic blood sport." said Ian McAllister, Executive Director of BC-based Pacific Wild. "With the 2010 Olympic games in town, the eyes of the world are on BC's environmental practices, and this trophy hunt is tarnishing our reputation."

"The international condemnation of this trophy hunt will continue to build until the bears in the Great Bear Rainforest are protected," said Rebecca Aldworth, Executive Director of Humane Society International/Canada. "British Columbia residents and the world community stand united in their opposition to the cruel and needless trophy hunting of bears."

"British Columbia should be celebrating our wildlife heritage, not killing it for sport or for a senseless trophy," said Dean Wyatt, owner of Knight Inlet Lodge and a Director of the Commercial Bear Viewing Association. “Our businesses depend on healthy bear populations and a positive international reputation."

For More Information:

  1. Rebecca Aldworth, Executive Director, HSI/Canada: 514-575-6797, raldworth@hsi.org
  2. Ian McAllister, Executive Director, Pacific Wild 250-957-2480, ian@pacificwild.org
  3. Art Sterritt, Executive Director of Coastal First Nations: 604-868-9110
  4. Dean Wyatt, Coastal Bear Viewing Association 250-203-0353

    Background:

    1. The Great Bear Rainforest, located on the BC central and north coast, contains the largest tracts of intact old growth temperate rainforest on earth.
    2. Each spring and fall season, the government of British Columbia allows trophy hunters, both local and foreign, to kill bears in the Great Bear Rainforest.
    3. A 2009 Ipsos Reid poll shows that 79 percent of British Columbians oppose the trophy hunting of bears.
    4. Of the 430 grizzlies killed in 2007 in BC, 87 percent were killed by trophy hunters. Approximately 300 BC grizzly bears are killed annually.
    5. Bear viewing is far more lucrative than bear hunting in BC. One bear viewing lodge in Knight inlet alone generates more revenue than the entire combined grizzly bear hunting industry.

    Supporting Organizations:

    1. Pacific Wild
    2. Humane Society International/Canada
    3. The Humane Society of the United States
    4. Humane Society Wildlife Land Trust |
    5. Coastal First Nations
    6. Greenpeace
    7. Sierra Club BC
    8. Western Canada Wilderness Committee
    9. David Suzuki Foundation
    10. The Spirit Bear Youth Coalition
    11. Valhalla Wilderness Society
    12. Bears Matter
    13. Forest Ethics
    14. Animal Rights Sweden
    15. Freedom for Animals-Croatia
    16. Brigitte Bardot Foundation-France
    17. Franz Weber Foundation-Switzerland
    18. Global Action in the Interest of Animals (GAIA)-Belgium
    19. Fundación para la Adopción, Apadrinamiento y Defensa de los Animales (FAADA)-Spain
    20. Four Paws (International)
    21. Respect for Animals-UK
    22. Commercial Bear Viewing Association of British Columbia
    23. Robin Wood
    24. Canopy

    -30-

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    Humane Society International/Canada is a leading force for animal protection, representing tens of thousands of members and constituents across the country. HSI Canada has active programs in companion animals, wildlife and habitat protection, marine mammal preservation and farm animal welfare. HSI Canada is proud to be a part of Humane Society International — one of the largest animal protection organizations in the world, with more than eleven million members and constituents globally — on the web at hsicanada.ca.

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