Spring bear hunt needs science, not opinion

Spring bear hunt needs science, not opinion The campaign against the spring bear hunt in BC is underway. The recent ads demand a response from the BC Wildlife Federation before more innocent citizens are misled. International animal extremism groups have

The campaign against the spring bear hunt in BC is underway. The recent ads demand a response from the BC Wildlife Federation before more innocent citizens are misled. International animal extremism groups have a history of using systemic sensationalism, which exploits compassion instead of representing the truth or educating with facts.

Contrary to claims, there is no “slaughter.” And there never has been; the BC government manages wildlife based on science. Grizzly bear populations in BC are steadily expanding to where there are now viable numbers in 90 per cent or more of their historical range. An independent review by six of the world’s leading bear biologists confirmed that bears are being managed sustainably in BC and that hunting is an acceptable part of bear management.

The spring grizzly hunt is an important economic opportunity for many rural communities and is conducted successfully in conjunction with viewing at other sites or times. Witness the success of the Inuit with opportunities for both the viewing and hunting of polar bears. Sustainable wildlife management which includes predator management must be based on scientific fact and not emotion. We draw your attention to the increasing number of human/bear conflicts within this and other provinces.

It is simply false to state that all coastal First Nation members support a ban on the grizzly hunt; many of these citizens hunt bears and don’t want that right taken away by a ban. We respect First Nations and all Canadians’ views, but recognize that since colluding with international anti-hunting groups, some coastal First Nations have decided to go public against the hunt.

BC Wildlife Federation believes that the Canadian public needs to be educated and aware of who is providing this information and what their modus operandi is. Some of these groups in the past have used violent and illegal tactics to further their cause. They include covert infiltration and takeover of organizations with differing views, redirecting their agendas and treasuries. Canadian groups are the latest to be approached and we believe they are naive regarding who they are really associating with.

In short, this ad campaign is an exercise in manipulation of the vulnerable public opinion and First Nations to feed the agendas and budgets of the international anti-hunting movement. We stress the fact that wildlife management must be based on science, not opinion.

Mel Arnold, president

BC Wildlife Federation

Burnaby, BC