June 24, 2015
Trophy Hunt Reopened on Florida Black Bear Despite Public Opposition
The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission voted to reopen a trophy hunt on the Florida black bear. Commissioner Ron Bergeron cast the lone dissenting vote. The unique subspecies of the American black bear was taken off the state’s threatened species list in 2012 and continues to face serious threats from road mortality, habitat loss and documented genetic isolation from other bear sub-populations. Kate MacFall, Florida state director for The Humane Society of the United States issued the following statement:
“By sanctioning a trophy hunt on bears in lieu of effective solutions on human-bear conflicts, the FWC has ignored sound science, responsible wildlife management and the majority of Floridians who oppose a hunt on this highly vulnerable and rare sub-species of bear, found nowhere else in the world outside its range. We will continue to oppose this hunt, not only because it is unjustified, but also because it is likely that cruel and inhumane practices like hounding and baiting will be added in the near future.”
A complete bear population study will not be finished by FWC until 2016.
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