Target: David Orazietti, Ontario Minister of Natural Resources
Goal: Reverse Ontario’s decision to reinstate its spring bear cull
Ontario, Canada recently voted to reinstate its annual spring bear hunt, lifting a ban that had been in place since 1999. The cull will result in the deaths of thousands of bears, simply because their population has grown healthy enough to expand their range to the southern portions of the province. This ruling must be reversed immediately so the bear population of Canada can remain protected.
The decision to lift the hunting ban was based on complaints from residents, who believe there have recently been more human-bear encounters. Animal rights groups, including Animal Alliance of Canada and Zoocheck Canada, made a case for preventing the hunt, arguing that it violates animal cruelty laws and emphasizing the orphaned cubs who will die of starvation or be killed by predators. These arguments were ultimately dismissed by a judge.
Ontario’s natural resources minister says he is pleased with the decision. Those in favor continue to assert the necessity of the hunt by insisting it protects public safety. This argument, however, doesn’t hold water. Since the year 2000 there have only been 15 fatal bear attacks in Canada, and only 27 total in North America. Compare this to the 26 people that are killed by dogs each year in North America and the 90 people that are killed by lightening. Nobody is calling for a dog hunt. There is absolutely no reason that thousands of bears have to die because of a dozen attacks. They pose no threat to society.
The true purpose of the hunt becomes clear on websites such as “Ontario Black Bear Heaven,” a website dedicated to emphasizing the pleasures of killing black bears. The site tells hunters where and when they can bag the biggest bear, and tries to impose a kind of paranoia on the viewer by focusing on how significant a threat bears are to humans. The statistics tell a different story. The fact of the matter is that nature does not need human intervention to achieve harmony, and the bear population should be left to wax and wane on its own before protecting them becomes a necessity once again.
Please take a moment to sign the petition below and demand that the Ontario spring bear hunt be banned once again.
Dear Minister Orazietti,
You recently decided to reinstate the spring bear hunt in Ontario. This is a tragic decision that is without necessity. The black bear population in Ontario poses no real threat to public safety. There have only been 15 fatal bear attacks in all of Canada since 2000. More people have been killed because of dogs, yet nobody is complaining that dogs should be hunted.
Thousands of bears should not have to die just to satisfy big game hunters or to “balance” things out again. Nature does not need our help. Please reverse this legislation immediately and keep black bears in Ontario protected before their population plummets once again.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Tombako the Jaguar via Flickr