BC Government Seeking Public Input On Grizzly Bear Hunt Regulations

On August 14, 2017 the provincial government announced that effective November 30, 2017 it will end all hunting of grizzly bears in the Great Bear Rainforest. Throughout the rest of the province the grizzly bear trophy hunt will be banned, but a meat hunt for the species will be permitted. 

Until November 2, 2017 the public can provide input on the two policy documents outlining the proposed regulations. 

While WDL welcomes the complete ban on grizzly hunting in the Great Bear Rainforest, we have serious concerns about the implications of a meat hunt throughout the rest of the province. 

It's well known that grizzlies are hunted for trophy and not for their meat, which is deemed inedible by hunters. The hunt threatens a vulnerable keystone species, as well a sustainable eco-tourism and bear viewing industry that creates employment opportunities in rural and remote communities. In fact, the hunt forced the closure of an eco-tour company’s spring bear viewing season in the Kootenays. The company felt it was unfair to take guests to view bears when they could potentially witness the animals being shot. WDL encountered such a situation while in the area monitoring the grizzly bear hunt in 2016. Our team came across a hunter who had just shot a grizzly from the road and had the hide, head and paws in the back of his truck. This bear died because of an extended hunt in the area, despite opposition from residents. 

Photo: Sam Edmonds

Photo: Sam Edmonds

Banning the “trophy” hunt while allowing a “meat” hunt would create a dangerous loophole enabling trophy hunters to continue killing bears under the guise of a meat hunt. WDL is calling for a complete and total ban on all grizzly hunting across the province (with the exception for First Nations traditional and ceremonial purposes), as outlined in our letter to the government. 

Please join us in calling for a total ban on the grizzly hunt across BC - the only measure that will truly end the senseless slaughter of bears like this. Take this important opportunity to share your feedback on the proposed regulations - comments can be sent to the Fish and Wildlife Branch at grizzly.bear@gov.bc.ca. Please feel free to review our submission letter for a guideline in creating your own.