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Canada's British Columbia to ban grizzly bear trophy hunting

Canada's British Columbia to ban grizzly bear trophy hunting

A decision by the BC NDP government today to completely ban all trophy hunting of grizzly bears across the province is being widely heralded as a necessary step to protect the species.

The real issue with trophy hunting is that it serves no other objective than to kill.

The ministry estimated that there are about 15,000 grizzlies in the province.

About 170 grizzlies are killed annually in B.C.by resident hunters and 80 by foreign hunters accompanied by commercial guides.

The new restrictions will hurt guiding businesses in rural B.C. communities that cater to sport hunting, said Scott Ellis, executive director of the Guide Outfitters of British Columbia.

"Grizzlies need large undisturbed spaces in which to roam".

"I think the interaction between the ocean and rainforests really symbolizes the Great Bear Rainforest area", he added. "They rely on being able to take some people out to generate a little bit of revenue, and with the decline in moose populations, grizzly is one of the significant opportunities that they have left". Hunting for food will still be permitted, but regulations on how to enforce that are still being developed.

"During the fall months, government will consult with First Nations and stakeholder groups to determine next steps and mechanisms as B.C. moves toward ending the trophy hunt", the government release states. They will also review how to mitigate any negative economic impacts from the change in policy. Ellis said he would be seeking more information about the allowance for meat hunting from the government. The location of the hunt was never confirmed, and following public outrage, the hunters who uploaded it made the footage private.

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The "desire of trophy hunters to bag a grizzly bear will certainly prevail over the relatively minor expense and annoyance of having to pack the meat out", wrote Chris Genovali and Brian Falconer of Raincoast Conservation Foundation in response to a similar proposal by Andrew Weaver two years ago. "There's a place for viewing bears, there's a place for hunting bears, there's a place for everything".

"Well I'm very happy that we have a ban" he said.

The prohibition fulfills a pledge by the B.C. NDP during the last election campaign. "Premier Horgan is to be commended for ending this cruel and barbaric blood sport for good", said Foy. "The only way they'd be able to do that is to video-monitor a hunter as they ate their grizzly bear dinner, to see if they did in fact consume the meat".

"If you want to do something great for grizzly bears, let's work on habitat".

The grizzly bear trophy hunt in B.C.is a divisive subject.

Specifically, BC is outlawing the "trophy" hunting of grizzlies in the province, meaning that hunters can't kill the bears and leave with their heads, hides, or paws, reports the CBC. Almost 4,000 grizzly bears slaughtered for so-called sport. They have low reproduction rates, are slow to disperse across landscapes, and females won't give birth to cubs unless food stocks are plentiful.

"We're hopeful it will be an open and collaborative process that keeps conservation and the humane treatment of animals at the forefront of any strategy or initiatives that are developed", she says.


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