A lawmaker in British Columbia is attempting to pass an anti-trophy hunting law specifically targeting foreign hunters coming to Canada to hunt grizzly bear.
Andrew Weaver, the sole member of the Green Party in British Columbia’s Legislative Assembly (their equivalent of a state legislature), recently introduced a bill aimed at curbing trophy hunting for grizzly bear in the province. The proposed law (The Wildlife Amendment Act) would, among other things, mandate that any hunter harvesting a grizzly bear take all edible portions of the meat home with them.
Though grizzly bears are listed as an endangered species in the United States, they may be legally hunted in Canada. Due to this, a substantial number of the hunters who take grizzly bears in Canada each year are foreigners, many of them Americans. This proposed new anti-trophy hunting law is aimed specifically at foreign hunters in an effort to curb their numbers and reduce the grizzly bear harvest.
Currently, grizzly bears are exempt from requirements to salvage edible meat under British Columbia law. Right now, foreign hunters may simply give the meat of their grizzly bear to their guide and return home with just the hide and head of the bear.
Not only would this new law mandate that all edible meat from a grizzly bear be salvaged, but it would also require all hunters who harvest a grizzly bear to take it home with them, even if they are from another country. Obviously, transporting several hundred pounds of meat to another country is a complicated proposition.
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Though I do feel strongly that hunters should be required to salvage as much meat from their kills as possible, I think that this proposed law is a bit strong. To me, this is not too different from PETA criticizing Hunters Against Hunger. I don’t see anything wrong with giving game meat away as long as it is not wasted.
Instead, this appears to be a thinly disguised effort to eventually end all grizzly bear hunting in British Columbia by making it prohibitively difficult for foreign hunters to participate.
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