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Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission Releases Black Bear Trophy Hunting Rule

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission released a proposal to open trophy hunting on the Florida black bear. The FWC’s proposal, which would allow several hundred Florida black bears across the state to be killed annually starting this fall, is devoid of scientific merit and scorns public opinion. The Florida black bear is a unique subspecies of the American black bear which was listed as a threatened species until 2012 and still faces serious threats from habitat loss, genetic isolation and road mortality. Kate MacFall, Florida state director for The Humane Society of the United States, issued the following statement:

“This move by the FWC is more appropriate to an April Fool’s Day joke than sound public policy. The best available science overwhelmingly demonstrates that bear hunting does not reduce human-bear conflicts or make people safer. Instead of making a mockery of science and public sentiment, The FWC should heed the majority of Floridians who want the commission to stop bowing to the pressure of a vocal minority of trophy hunters. FWC should instead use the right tools for preventing conflicts—like bear-proof trash management, public education, hazing, habitat conservation and code enforcement—strategies that have broad public support and benefit both people and bears.”

Aforementioned scientific studies are available upon request. Poll results available here. For more information, visit humanesociety.org/animals/bears.

Media Contact: Naseem Amini, namini@humanesociety.org, 301-548-7793


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