The Ontario Minister of Natural Resources has proposed a return to bear hunting in some communities in Northern Ontario this spring. Even though the Ministry's own scientific data shows spring bear hunting has no impact on the number of human-bear interactions, they still maintain it is imperative to reduce the number of "nuisance" bears.
Bears are attracted to populated communities for one reason: They are hungry. Improperly stored garbage means an increase in bears. Should we be killing bears because we can't educate humans to reduce food attractions?
Research by OMNR's biologists shows that cubs are orphaned when bear hunting is allowed in the spring. While we know hunting females with cubs is prohibited, there is no way for a hunter to know if the females are lactating. It is virtually impossible to enforce the ban against killing mother bears. The density of the wild means these orphaned cubs will never be found and will ultimately starve to death.
The public needs to voice its opinion about the spring hunt. Write to Ontario's Premier, Kathleen Wynne and tell her you oppose any reintroduction of spring bear hunting.
This is a political issue as much as it is an animal welfare one. Members of the Legislative Assembly of Ontario up for reelection may abandon their support of the hunt if they believe it threatens their seat.
Not a Canadian? Your letters are still very valuable to let Ontario know the world is watching. Why should we spend our dollars in Canada when there are more humane places to travel?
It is up to us to stand up for the black bears of Canada.