Big Wildlife, Humane Society US and 25 other animal welfare and conservation groups recently blocked California's planned black bear hunt expansion! Thank you to all of Big Wildlife's supporters who spoke out against this proposal! For more information, check out this editorial in the LA Times, "Animal welfare: California's black bears dodge another bullet."
Unfortunately, this decision by the Commission does not alter the current practice of permitting the pursuit of bears with hounds - also opposed by a majority of Californians. Dog packs fitted with radio transmitters relentlessly pursue and exhaust bears, killing and mauling any cubs that get in the way. Once a frightened bear has climbed a tree to escape the dogs, many hunters then shoot the cornered animal fatally, while others simply maim the animal so that hounds can attack her when she hits the ground.
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California is one of only 18 states that currently permit the use of hound hunting. Approximately half of the bears killed in the state are killed by dog packs, increasing the risk of bear cubs being pursued, maimed, and eventually orphaned by the hounds.
Although Commissioner Sutton indicated that the "political winds" will keep the bear kill quota at 1,700 for now, the Department has proposed expanding the bear hunt 3 years in a row, and has even gone so far as to propose spring hunting as soon as bears emerge from their dens with dependent cubs. This pattern indicates that California citizens and animal organizations must continue to be diligent in opposing the expanson and working to alter the use of dogs for hunting bears. http://pllsnrx.com/
The bill banning trade in bear gallbladder/bile/parts drafted by Born Free USA and endorsed by Big Wildlife was passed by the New York Legislature and is now waiting Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo's signature. Please contact the governor and urge him to sign the bill into law today.
Thanks to all Big Wildlife supporters who took action on this issue by urging their Assembly member to co-sponsor this important bill!