After a long campaign by dozens of animal advocacy and environmental organizations across Canada, the B.C. government has finally ended the hunting of grizzly bears in the province without loopholes for hunters to exploit.
Previously the NDP had proposed to ban trophy hunting in only certain parts of B.C., in the Great Bear Rainforest, but would have allowed it to continue with a “pack out the meat” loophole. This policy was initially proposed by B.C. Green Party leader Andrew Weaver and was similarly opposed by animal advocates and environmentalists alike. This about face on their proposed policy comes just a week after they approved the Site C dam to much public criticism.
In a statement, the NDP Minister of Forests, Lands, and Natural Resources said “Through consultations this past fall, we have listened to what British Columbians have to say on this issue and it is abundantly clear that the grizzly hunt is not in line with their values,” while unfortunately still affirming their support for hunting in general. They also stated that “First Nations will still be able to harvest grizzly bears pursuant to Aboriginal rights for food, social, or ceremonial purposes, or treaty rights.”
Jordan Reichert, West Coast Campaign Officer of the Animal Protection Party of Canada had called for a complete ban of killing of grizzly bears in B.C. during the 2017 provincial election and called out both the NDP and the Greens for their weak policy on the issue.
“I am overjoyed to see that the B.C. government has taken action in line with the values of British Columbians and furthermore has decided to put science before the interests of hunting lobbyists. We have to be mindful that this decision comes just after one of their most unpopular decisions, in approving the Site C dam project, so they are looking for something positive to promote. We must also keep in mind, this will not stop the inhumane killing of numerous other wild animals, so we must continue to pressure them to broaden the end of trophy hunting period to all animals in the province.”
To help the Animal Protection Party of Canada continue to advocate to protect animals across B.C. and Canada, you can donate here.