To: Minister Doug Donaldson
From: Justice for BC Grizzlies
cc: Premier John Horgan
Minister George Heyman
Fish and Wildlife Branch
Subject Policy changes to the BC Grizzly Bear hunt
JUSTICE FOR BC GRIZZLIES BACKGROUND
Justice for BC Grizzlies is a grassroots organization dedicated to education about, and advocacy for, BC Grizzly Bears. The Advisory Council members who consulted on this document are experienced advocates from diverse regions of British Columbia, including Smithers, Kaslo, Invermere, Kimberley, Whistler, Vancouver, and Victoria.
We vigorously advocate for a complete ban on grizzly killing province-wide, as has been done in the Great Bear Rainforest. We remain committed to this goal. Until that happens, Justice for BC Grizzlies makes the following recommendations to help ensure that a grizzly trophy hunt will not continue under the guise of food hunting.
NDP STATEMENTS ON ENDING THE B.C. GRIZZLY TROPHY HUNT
Statements taken directly from comments to media by Premier Horgan & Minister Donaldson
These majestic animals deserve our full protection, especially since they are already struggling to survive habitat disruption and loss. The party supports hunting for food, especially for those who use it to survive. ( CBC News, 24/11/16)
It’s not a matter of numbers, it’s a matter of society has come to the point in B.C. where they are no longer in favor of the grizzly bear trophy hunt. (Sun, 14/08/17)
The province will close ‘loopholes’ by forbidding a meat hunter from possessing the paws, head, and hide of a grizzly to ensure trophy hunts are not conducted under the guise of a meat hunt. (Sun, 14/08/17)
During the fall months, the government will consult with First Nations and stakeholders to determine next steps and details of the trophy hunt ban. Additionally, the government will be moving forward with a broader consultation process on a renewed wildlife management strategy for the province. (Province, 13/08/17)
1. CREATE A SEPARATE APPLICATION SPECIFIC TO GRIZZLY BEARS
Grizzly Bears should be entirely removed from the limited entry hunt (LEH) system of the B.C. Hunting/Trapping Guide. So few people genuinely hunt grizzlies for sustenance, that there is no need to continue with the previous Liberal government’s system of authorizations per management unit. The NDP decision to end the grizzly trophy hunt arises from a shift in societal values around trophy hunting of bears, not numbers. If the same number of grizzlies are killed for food as were killed under the previous system, then this change of policy is meaningless and will not be trusted by British Columbians. Create a specific application form to apply for a grizzly food sustenance hunt, on which it is prominently stated: where the hunt will take place, how the meat will be used, and the penalty for non-compliance.
Prominent on the application form should be the statement that grizzly trophy hunting is illegal in B.C. and that photographs taken with a dead Grizzly Bear constitute a “trophy”.
2. MAKE THE POLICY CHANGE NOTICEABLE
The change of regulations should be posted on government sites and on all notices to hunters so that the change of policy is clearly stated.
As of November 30 2017, hunters of grizzly for food should carry proof of their authorization, to produce if requested by a Conservation Officer.
3. RECORD THE LOCATIONS WHERE GRIZZLIES ARE KILLED
The coordinates where each bear is killed should be recorded for research, data collection and to document details of how the new policy is being applied.
4. MAKE THE INSPECTION PROCESS AND DATA COLLECTION FIT WITH POLICY
The entire bear should be presented for compulsory inspection to confirm age, gender and health of the bear.
Only those parts of the bear declared for food use will be removed from the inspection site.
QUESTIONS TO GOVERNMENT
What investment of personnel and technology will government make to monitor compliance? Effectiveness of this new policy rests on proper monitoring.
Will new sites and qualified personnel be required at compulsory inspection centers?
What will the penalty be for non-compliance with new policy?
How will government cultivate a culture of commitment from hunting organizations and Conservation Officers?
How does this policy change toward Grizzly Bears link with other progressive policies for “a renewed wildlife management strategy for the province”?
Submitted by: Justice for BC Grizzlies Advisory Council