Animal advocates delivered more than 75,000 names from across the globe calling on the government of British Columbia to ban the trophy hunting of grizzly bears. The groups delivered the names to the Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations in 30 cube boxes containing 21,000 postcards collected in Lush Fresh Handmade Cosmetics shops since November 2016, and more than 350 pages of names added to online petitions hosted by Humane Society International/Canada and Pacific Wild.
Trophy hunting has become a provincial election issue with all three parties addressing the issue in their platforms and statements. Despite 91 percent of British Columbians polled in 2015 expressing an opposition to this practise, the province has continued to sanction the so-called sport. A January 2017 poll of five rural ridings in British Columbia also reported high percentages of residents calling for a ban – 74 percent of respondents opposed trophy hunting of grizzly bears.
Gabriel Wildgen, campaign manager of Humane Society International/Canada said, “Every year, the province of British Columbia permits trophy hunters to kill hundreds of grizzly bears, simply so that they can hang their body parts on their walls and brag about the slaughter on social media. The cruel and ecologically disrespectful nature of this hunt is detrimental to B.C.’s economy and reputation, and it needs to be stopped.”
“British Columbia now has the historical opportunity to turn the page on the senseless, brutal and cruel trophy hunt,” said Pacific Wild Executive Director Ian McAllister. “British Columbians and citizens around the world will applaud such a policy change.”
“Voices from around the world, our country and our province are calling on the B.C. government to finally take the right step and protect grizzly bears from this cruel, outdated and inherently wasteful practise,” says Tricia Stevens of Lush. “It’s simply been sanctioned by this government for too long.”
- After hunters shoot them, grizzly bears often suffer for hours before they die, sometimes with multiple wounds.
- Bears are highly vulnerable to population decline, given that half of bear cubs die within the first year. Roads, railroads and land use developments also make it difficult for adult males to find and mate with female bears.
- A 2013 study published in the Public Library of Science found that trophy hunting may be causing declines in bear populations, and that hunters were exceeding government quotas in half of the populations studied.
- Further independent studies have found that government estimates of bear populations in B.C. are inaccurately high, and in reality, populations are too low to sustain current hunting levels.
- A 2012 study by Center for Responsible Travel and Stanford University found that bear-viewing businesses in B.C.’s Great Bear Rainforest generated 12 times more visitor spending than bear hunting.
HSI/Canada: Christopher Paré – office: 514 395-2914 / cell: 438 402-0643, email: email@example.com
Lush: Carleen Pickard, 415.400.9301