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May 11, 2010

The HSUS to Speak Against Bear Trophy Hunt in New Jersey

On Tuesday, a representative from The Humane Society of the United States will testify against New Jersey's proposal to reinstate trophy hunting of black bears. John Grandy, Ph.D., senior vice president of wildlife for The HSUS, will speak at a public hearing held by the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection and the New Jersey Fish and Game Council. The nation's largest animal welfare organization is urging the state to pursue more effective and humane non-lethal methods to resolve conflicts with bears.

"Trophy hunting is simply not a long-term solution to reducing negative interactions with black bears or assisting individuals in coexisting with these animals," said Grandy. "Hunting does not reduce bear-human conflicts because it fails to target the so-called 'problem' bears who may be breaking into trash cans or trespassing near homes. Non-lethal approaches are long-term solutions to problems with bears and need adequate time to be implemented successfully."

The New Jersey Fish and Game Council released its Draft Comprehensive Black Bear Management Policy in March. The draft policy includes plans for a bear hunt in December, which will allow the killing of more than 400 bears, including mothers and cubs. The New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection approved this plan.

A statewide poll conducted in April by Mason-Dixon Polling & Research found that New Jersey voters oppose the trophy hunting of black bears. Statewide, 45 percent of voters oppose the hunting of black bears in New Jersey, while only 35 percent support it. A majority of voters in every portion of the state oppose the hunt, and are particularly opposed to the hunting of cubs, the hunting of mother bears with cubs, and the hunting of bears over bait, all practices which New Jersey allows.

Facts

  • Hunting does not reduce human-bear conflicts — actually, it may increase conflicts — and causes only a short-term reduction in bear populations.
  • No one has ever been killed by a bear in the state's history.
  • New Jersey's bear hunt would be an exercise in obtaining heads and hides for trophy hunters.
  • Most conflicts with bears can easily be eliminated simply by making garbage and other human-provided food sources inaccessible.
  • A bear hunt has not been held in New Jersey since 2005.
  • Bears have been protected in New Jersey since 1970, with the exception of two hunts in 2003 and 2005.

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Follow The HSUS on Twitter. See our work for animals on your iPhone by searching "HumaneTV" in the App Store.

The Humane Society of the United States is the nation's largest animal protection organization — backed by 11 million Americans, or one of every 28. For more than a half-century, The HSUS has been fighting for the protection of all animals through advocacy, education, and hands-on programs. Celebrating animals and confronting cruelty — On the web at humanesociety.org.

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