New legislation has come into place in Vancouver, B.C. effective immediately banning the hunting of all grizzly bears across British Columbia. This includes hunting for trophies and food, making it completely illegal. The New Democratic Party (NDP) has announced and enforced the ban.
The ban has come into place following public outcry and widespread anger during the last election campaign, when there was a push for all hunting of grizzly bears to come to an end, despite trophy hunting already being illegal in the Great Bear Rainforest. Food hunts were still permitted and legal, but with trophy hunters able to divert their motive to hunting the bears for food, there was the call to ban all grizzly bear hunting.
The Vancouver Sun reported that: “About 78 per cent of 4,180 emails the government received on the issue opposed a continued food hunt”. B.C’s Minister of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development, Doug Donaldson said: “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.”
Throughout 2016, 235 grizzly bears were killed across British Columbia, 30 per cent of those being female bears. This high number of female bears that were hunted has had a dramatic effect on the population, which was thought to only be 15,000 before the decline. Tommy Knowles of the Wildlife Defence League spoke of the new legislation saying: “Grizzly bears finally have the protection they truly deserve from an outdated, unethical and inhumane practice.” British Columbia’s decision to ban grizzly bear hunting joins India and Italy’s efforts to protect animals, with them banning the use of animals in circuses.