A blog by spcaLA president, Madeline Bernstein

Mar 14, 2010

We Must Speak for California Bears

The  California Department of Fish & Game (DFG) is proposing to expand Bear Hunting in several horrific ways. They want to increase the number of areas zoned for hunting, remove the limit on the number of kills, allow hounds to wear GPS devices and tip switches, and permit the training of hunting hounds throughout the year. Besides the loss of bears, ancillary animal cruelty, such as the death and injuries to the hunting hounds, the wounding and harming of non targeted animals will also occur.This is a very disappointing move by an agency charged with the protection of our natural wildlife.

What we are really talking about is the following. The hunters first spray a bear attractant on the hounds and attach the GPS device and tip switch to the dog's collar. Then they chit chat in the forest while the dogs hunt the bears. (Many, sustaining fatal injuries by the bears in the process.)  When the tip switch lets the hunter know a bear is treed, the hunter follows the GPS signal to the bear and shoots him or her at point blank range.  I submit that such a practice is neither hunting nor sport, but rather, nothing more than a canned hunt. In fact - it is shameful, cowardly and cruel to both the bears and the dogs.

Finally,  DFG, the Wardens Association and the Commission repeatedly assert a lack of sufficient enforcement resources to perform existing duties. The Wardens Association begged the commission to not enact anything new until they receive more assets and personnel. Expanding bear hunting at a time where there is a current inability to perform existing mandates, is absurd and defies logic. By its own statement, DFG suggests the current practice of writing letters to indicate the early closing of the current hunting season (when the kill limit is reached) is too much work and costs too much in postage! Their solution is to propose killing more bears so no limit would be reached which would eliminate the early closing of the season and the resultant letter writing. This is truly unconscionable.

Finally, most Californians are not hunters and we need to make ourselves heard. Please contact director@dfg.ca.gov  and just say no!

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