Born Free USA applauds California Citizens for Standing up for Bears
Thanks to the efforts of animal advocates including Born Free USA and our members the California Department of Fish and Game rescinded its bear hunting proposal that would have expanded bear hunting across the state, increased the number of bears killed, and allowed the use of high tech equipment on bear hunting hounds.
Born Free USA adamantly opposed these regulations testifying in person at the commission hearing and submitting two sets of detailed comments opposing the proposal and alerting our membership.
A primary concern for Born Free USA is that the increased hunt would further burden our already overextended wildlife law enforcement agents thereby reducing their ability to apprehend poachers. History has shown that illegal trade in wildlife is positively correlated with the legal trade and that legal take frequently provides a smoke screen behind which illegal wildlife traders operate.
In comments sent to the DFG, Monica Engebretson, Senior Program Associate for Born Free USA, stated,
“We find the proposal to be biologically reckless, ethically indefensible, and fiscally irresponsible. The Department’s limited resources would be better spent protecting habitat and endangered species than on expanding the bear hunting program — particularly at a time when state and national trends demonstrate that hunting is on the decline and when state budgets preclude adequate enforcement of new programs.”
Born Free USA is pleased that the CDFG has appeared to have come to its senses and listened to Californians who were opposed to its proposal. The Department has a responsibility to California residents to manage wildlife in an ethical, humane, and biologically sound manner that emphasizes their ecological importance and not merely as objects of entertainment. Born Free USA hopes the Department will keep this in mind in future proposals.