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New Hampshire State Committee Bans Chocolate in Bear Bait

Chocolate toxic to bears, other wildlife, dogs

A final decision to ban the use of chocolate and chocolate derivatives in bear bait was made today by the Joint Legislative Committee on Administrative Rules. The New Hampshire Fish and Game Commission unanimously voted for a ban in May. Last year, it was documented that theobromine, a derivative from chocolate, killed four otherwise healthy bears, including two cubs, at a bait station in New Hampshire. Chocolate and caffeine are toxic to a variety of animals, including bears, foxes, coyotes, domestic dogs, rabbits, hares, rodents and birds.  

Lindsay Hamrick, New Hampshire state director for The Humane Society of the United States issued the following statement:

“Bear baiting is cruel and unsporting and not in keeping with the majority of New Hampshire residents’ values. New Hampshire celebrates its bears and the vast majority of Americans want to see them humanely treated. Prohibiting chocolate and caffeine use in bait, which are both toxic to bears, is a step in the right direction and we commend the New Hampshire Fish and Game Commission for taking this proactive approach."

The 2015 compromise will only allow chocolate in baked goods. A ban on solid chocolate will go into effect immediately. A full ban including pastries will go into effect in 2016

Media Contact: Naseem Amini, namini@humanesociety.org, 240-778-5545