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New Jersey Ignores Research, Expands Trophy Hunting of Bears

A 2015 poll conducted by Remington Research Group demonstrates that 90 percent of New Jersey voters agree that neighborhoods located near bears have a responsibility to secure garbage and other food sources. However, New Jersey remains one of 13 states that allow bear baiting, an inhumane practice which involves intensive feeding of black bears to make them easier targets of trophy hunters waiting nearby. The 2015 New Jersey Division of Fish and Wildlife Comprehensive Black Bear Management Policy continues to endorse baiting and is a drastic expansion to the state’s trophy hunting of bears that would allow a kill rate of up to 30 percent of the entire black bear population and even permits the hunting of cubs.

Kathleen Schatzmann, New Jersey state director for The Humane Society of the United States, issued the following statement:

“This is a sad day for New Jersey’s much loved black bears. The Fish and Game Council’s expanded trophy hunt, as well as its endorsement of baiting, is cruel, scientifically unjustified, at odds with public opinion, and caters to a small but vocal club of self-interested individuals who wrongly believe these animals do not deserve protections.  Instead of continually endorsing and expanding lethal methods for trophy hunters, the state would be better off helping citizens manage trash and outdoor food sources.”

The New Jersey Division of Fish and Wildlife estimates the bear population to be around 3,500, a nearly identical number as when the hunt was first authorized in 2010. Despite research showing that human-bear conflicts are caused by food availability, baiting allows hunters to stack donuts, candy, grease, rotting garbage, corn, fish, meat and other high-calorie foods in the bait piles. Other research shows that baiting bears also grows their population, undermining the state agency’s goal.

Media Contact: Chloe Detrick, 202-658-9091, cdetrick@humanesociety.org

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