The Ministry of Natural Resources has no plans to scrap the planned spring bear hunt, a pilot project set for 8 wildlife management units this spring, despite famed ex-game show host and animal rights activist Bob Barker’s public opposition.
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Barker says the spring bear hunt is barbaric, unethical and calls it legislated cruelty that has nothing to do with science. Barker told CBC news he’d prefer legislation that stop people from leaving food where bears can get at it.
Orazietti says he has a lot of respect for Barker, but insists he has his facts wrong this time and flatly disputes Barker’s claims that a spring hunt means cubs will starve to death after their mothers are killed. In fact, it is illegal to hunt sows with cubs. The goal of this pilot program is to reduce the number of human-bear interactions, including instances where police are forced to kill bears who get too close to people.
Human-bear interaction has risen since the spring hunt was cancelled in 1999, despite efforts to deal with the problem in other ways. Even the ministry’s “expensive trap-and-relocate program” has proven largely ineffective, Orazietti told CBC.
Ontario is not alone when it comes to a spring bear season. Eight other provinces in Canada and the 3 territories have full-scale spring bear hunts, while the pilot project in Ontario is a smaller, targeted approach that is open for resident hunters only.
– with files from Canadian Press.