April 15, 2015
In Opening Bear Hunt, FWC Ignores Science and the Public
The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission voted to open a trophy hunt on Florida’s unique subspecies of black bears for the time in 21 years and just three years after Florida black bears were removed from the threatened species list. Kate MacFall, Florida state director for The Humane Society of the United States issued the following statement:
“The FWC ignored both science and the will of the people. Bears who are living out their lives deep in the forest, bothering no one, will now pay the price for people failing to do what we know works. Bear-proof trash management, public education, code enforcement are proven strategies that teach bears to stay away from neighborhoods.”
The vote to kill 275 bears a year ignores eight scientific studies which all conclude that hunting aimed at reducing bear populations is an ineffective solution toward reducing human-bear conflicts. In January, a statewide poll found 61 percent of Florida voters oppose a bear hunt, 84 percent favor providing bear-proof trash cans and educating residents and 87 percent agree that neighborhoods located near bear habitat have a responsibility to avoid attracting the animals by securing food and garbage.
The FWC will vote on this issue again in June. The bear hunting studies are available upon request. For more information, visit humanesociety.org/animals/bears.
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