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First Nations, Animal Protection and Conservation Groups Unite to Save Bears in BC’s Great Bear Rainforest

Groups call on BC Government to End Trophy Hunting of Bears before April 1st
(BRITISH COLUMBIA, March 17, 2009) First Nations, animal protection and conservation groups have united to protect bears from cruel and unsustainable trophy hunts. At a press conference today, the groups urge the British Columbian government to end trophy hunting of bears in the Great Bear Rainforest prior to the opening of the spring bear hunt on April 1st.

“One might expect that in the Great Bear Rainforest, bears could live and thrive in peace,” said Bruce Passmore, director of outreach for Humane Society International/Canada. “But trophy hunting of bears is still permitted in the Great Bear Rainforest, even in protected areas. It is time for the provincial government to heed public opinion, the best available science and economics by giving these magnificent animals the protection they need to survive.”

According to a 2009 Ipsos Reid poll, 78 percent of British Columbia residents oppose trophy hunting of bears in the Great Bear Rainforest. First Nations groups are in agreement and also want an end to the trophy hunting of bears.

Kitasoo/Xaixais Chief Percy Starr is disappointed that all species of bears in their traditional territory are not protected. “We’ve spent years to ensure our lands are protected, only to learn that trophy hunters can continue to come on our lands and kill bears for sport.” “It's not right that anyone should make a sport of killing,” said Guujaaw, a spokesperson for Coastal First Nations. “Bears are as much a part of the environment as we are.”

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