NDP government ends grizzly bear trophy hunt in B.C.

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      The B.C. provincial government is ending the killing for sport of grizzly bears.

      The prohibition fulfills a pledge by the B.C. NDP during the last election campaign.

      The ban starts on November 30 this year.

      “By bringing trophy hunting of grizzlies to an end, we're delivering on our commitment to British Columbians,” Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development Minister Doug Donaldson said in a media release Monday (August 14).

      The announcement also included a ban on the hunting of grizzly bears in the Great Bear Rainforest.

      There are around 15,000 grizzly bears in the province.

      According to the media release, about 250 are killed by trophy hunters.

      “While the trophy hunt will end, hunting for meat will be allowed to continue,” the release stated.

      The Grizzly Bear Foundation released a report in March this year, which noted that grizzly bears are threatened by loss of habitat as well as the trophy hunt.

      “Grizzlies need large undisturbed spaces in which to roam. It will be ever more difficult to provide those spaces given current trends, the cumulative impacts of which are inestimable even using the best science available at the present time. Under these circumstances, allowing hundreds of grizzly bears to be legally killed every year for sport or trophies is unreasonable in our opinion,” the report noted.

      The Wilderness Committee welcomed the move to stop the trophy hunting of grizzly bears.

      “For 16 long years we’ve been demanding this ban,” Wilderness Committee national campaign director Joe Foy said in a media release. “Ever since Premier Gordon Campbell reinstated the bloody grizzly trophy hunt, we’ve been counting the days until the killing stops.”

      However, the leader of the B.C. Green caucus noted that the announcement does not mean an end to grizzly bear hunting.

      A media release by Andrew Weaver, who is the representative for Oak Bay-Gordon Head, pointed out that foreign hunters will still be able to kill grizzly bears.

      According to the statement, these hunters can take a picture with the dead animal and then head home.

      "I’m not sure how this will appease the concerns of anyone. It appears to me that the NDP were trying to play to environmental voters in the election campaign without thinking through their policies," Weaver said.