After years of increasing opposition to British Columbia’s controversial grizzly bear hunt from not only the public, but also conservationists, independent scientists and Coastal First Nations and recently, Lush Cosmetics, the provincial NDP have announced their stance on the issue in the lead up to the May 2017 provincial election.
In a press conference this morning in Vancouver, BC NDP leader John Horgan announced that his party will ban the trophy hunting of grizzly bears in the province.
The announcement comes at a time when opposition to the hunt has reached an all time high, with poll after poll indicating that the vast majority of British Columbians condemn the grizzly bear hunt. Independent scientists and conservationists have also called into question the science behind the government’s hunt and Coastal First Nations have implemented a ban on the practice in their territories. Eco-tour companies add that bear viewing and the economic benefits the industry brings to the provincial economy is directly threatened by the hunt and that the two industries cannot co-exist. That the revenue generated by fees and licenses associated with the grizzly bear hunt fails to even cover the cost of the province’s management of it means that taxpayers in the province are effectively subsidizing a hunt that the majority of them disagree with.
Together, this diverse group of voices have called for an end to the grizzly bear hunt and have been pushing the provincial parties to respond to the growing opposition to the hunt.
“BC’s grizzly bear hunt is not a subsistence hunt, it’s about bagging a trophy – a head for the wall or a rug for the floor. It simply doesn’t align with the values of British Columbians and it certainly doesn’t reflect the “Super, Natural BC” that the province promotes to the world. The public has been tirelessly pushing for years for a ban on this hunt and while we’re pleased to see this issue being given the attention it deserves, we strongly believe that the only way to truly end the grizzly bear trophy hunt is to enact a complete and total ban. Anything less will simply allow the trophy hunt to continue under the guise of a so-called meat hunt,” said Tommy Knowles, Campaign Director with the Wildlife Defence League.
Wildlife Defence League is encouraging the public to engage with their elected officials and those running in their constituency in the upcoming provincial election to ensure grizzly bears are fully and permanently protected from hunting.