WATCH: Animal protection activists and tourism groups call for ban on grizzly bear trophy hunt in B.C.
A coalition of animal protection activists, environmentalists and tourism operators are demanding that grizzly bear trophy hunting be shut down in B.C.
They want the B.C. government to ban trophy hunting in favour of developing the lucrative bear watching industry.
The groups argue that bear watching brings in a greater economic benefit and unlike trophy hunting, the bears can be enjoyed over and over again instead of being killed.
“The clock is now ticking for grizzly bears in B.C. as we approach the beginning of the spring grizzly bear hunting season on April 1st,” says Gabriel Wildgen of Humane Society International. “If that happens, we know that grizzlies will be subject again to incredible and unnecessary cruelty at the hands of trophy hunters.”
The B.C. Guide Outfitters Association claims trophy hunting generates about $120 million a year in total revenue.
The bear viewing industry brings $13 million a year in direct spending but the Commercial Bear Viewing Association says that number doesn’t represent the total economic impact of bear viewing as it doesn’t include hotel, car rental and restaurant spending.
In addition to protecting the grizzly bears by banning the hunt, the Bear Viewing Association also says it could significantly grow the industry if it were allowed to expand into areas reserved for trophy hunting.