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Letter: 'Cruel, immoral' spring bear hunt should remain banned

We should think of ways to protect our wildlife, instead of further destroying it
black bear in wild
A black bear. (via Pixabay)

 I am writing to express my solid opposition to reinstating the spring bear hunt. 

The spring bear hunt has been used as a political pawn by both the Wynne government and now the Ford government.

The main reason why the spring bear hunt is immoral is that one cannot be 100 per cent sure if a bear is a sow with cubs. In early spring, the cubs are too small to follow the mother when she goes foraging, so she leaves them hidden.

If a sow goes to a baiting station to eat and she gets killed by a hunter, he cannot be charged under the law because he did not kill a sow "with cubs."

Hunting is done deep in the bush, and if an irresponsible hunter kills a sow who has cubs, either with her or hidden, there would be no way of knowing. When a sow is killed, the cubs are left to die a slow death from starvation.

We do have a full legal hunting season in the fall. That should be sufficient for "population control," and  though it is legal to kill sows and leave their cubs orphaned in the fall, it is still immoral because the chances for the cubs to survive the winter are drastically reduced.

Some facts about bears are that adult male bears rarely kill the young, that bears are primarily vegetarians and there is very little meat content in their diet. They are not responsible for the declining moose populations, rather, clear cutting forests, aerial spraying and continued hunting of moose are responsible. Bears are not vermin. They are an important keystone species, instrumental in spreading trees and vegetation and equivalent to primates in Africa when it comes to intelligence. 

According to our provincial government, Ontario has a healthy bear population, despite that bear attacks are very rare.

Our wildlife is already facing challenges from climate change and adverse effects of development. We should be thinking of ways to protect our wildlife and wild places instead of destroying them further.

The provincial government should put in some effort and investment to promote eco tourism to Northern Ontario. We can attract tourists from around the world and benefit economically through the wildlife and pristine wild places we have that many parts of the world have lost.

I challenge our provincial government to this and to establishing a publicly funded wildlife centre to help orphaned and injured bears (yes, those with gun shot wounds).

Everyone please post your comments on the Ontario Environmental Registry and send emails to the premier asking for this cruel and immoral hunt to remain banned.

Sajidha Bagha