U.S. hunters shoot about 33,000 bears each year—and poachers kill thousands more. In fact, bears are a favorite target for trophy hunters the world over. Some states even allow unsporting bear baiting, hounding (cruel to bears and dogs), and spring hunts, which can orphan cubs to die slowly.
Gentle black bears will stay away from people unless lured by food, but some hunters stir up fear as an excuse for hunts. Many bears die to satisfy the black market for folk remedies. Vacationing trophy seekers kill polar bears although they are already in peril from global warming.
You can help by learning the bear facts [PDF] and pressing your elected officials for change.
- Ask your federal legislators to support protection for polar bears and all bears.
- Maryland or New Jersey residents: ask your governor to cancel the state's bear hunt.
- Act locally against bear baiting, bear hounding, and spring bear hunts.
News & Events
September 12, 2013
The Humane Society of the United States Applauds South Carolina Department of Natural Resources for Filing Charges in Bear Baying Cruelty Case
The South Carolina Department of Natural Resources has arrested a man and filed felony charges for allowing dogs to repeatedly attack and bite a captive bear. This follows a three-year campaign by The Humane Society of the United States and an undercover investigation in 2010 that revealed cruelty occurring at South Carolina’s so-called “bear baying” competitions.
June 10, 2013
A coalition of groups, including The Humane Society of the United States, Wildlife Alliance of Maine and Citizens in Charge, is urging the Maine legislature to reject a constitutional amendment that deliberately subverts voter participation in the democratic process.
March 1, 2013
A coalition of groups is applauding a decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia to reject a challenge to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s 2008 decision to list polar bears as a threatened species under the Endangered Species Act.
January 22, 2013
The HSUS Urges Maine Legislators to Pass Bill Protecting Bears from Inhumane and Unsporting Practices
The HSUS praised Maine praised Maine state Sen. Edward Mazurek, D-Knox County, for introducing legislation that would enact comprehensive protections for bears
October 23, 2013
The Los Angeles City Council passed a motion directing the city attorney to draft an ordinance to prohibit the use of bullhooks and other tools to inflict pain for the purpose of training and controlling the behavior of elephants used in circuses and traveling shows to take effect in three years.
July 3, 2013
Gov. Maggie Hassan signed legislation that allows New Hampshire to become a member of the Interstate Wildlife Violator Compact.
June 7, 2013
Gov. Peter Shumlin signed legislation that prohibits the importation and possession of wild pigs and their hybrids into law. House Bill 101, introduced by Rep. David Deen, D-Windham, bans feral pigs from captive hunts – fenced pens where trophy-seekers pay to shoot the trapped animals for guaranteed kills.
May 15, 2013
The Humane Society of the United States presented a Humane Wildlife Stewardship Award to participants of Operation Turtle, a public-private partnership that has saved the lives of hundreds of aquatic turtles and other wild animals.