Polar Bear

VANCOUVER, MARCH 6/09 -- The Obama administration got high praise from The Humane Society of Canada for its decision in February to uphold a ban on the importation of polar bear trophies from Canada killed by US hunters. For twenty years it had been illegal until the Bush Administration reversed the law in 1994 which has resulted in the killing of almost 1,000 polar bears since that time. It is already illegal for American hunters to engage in this practice in their own country.

“For a number of years, The Humane Society of Canada alongside many other concerned groups and individuals has been working behind the scenes to provide information to counter the outright lies provided by the Canadian Government to continue with the recreational killing of these beautiful animals, who are already at risk from global warming,” explained HSC Regional Director, Al Hickey

A copy of our letters can be found here. Also included was a series of very graphic and disturbing photographs we obtained of American hunters who had killed a polar bear in northern Canada which sent a grim and emphatic message to US lawmakers about the nature of such trophy hunts and the kind of people who participate in them. [Photos available here. Warning they are disturbing.]

In December of last year, the 27 member nation European Union also banned the import of polar bear trophies from two areas of Canada, namely the Kane Basin and Baffin Bay areas, between Nunavut and Greenland. The Humane Society of Canada will redouble its efforts to call for a total import ban. Most of the recreational killing of these animals is by American and European hunters

“With shrinking habitats due to global warming, polar bears have a tough enough life already, and since Canada is home to two thirds of the world’s polar bears, we have a tremendous responsibility to protect them. In our opinion, I can think of no better way than to prevent their slaughter by dysfunctional people who set out to kill an animal that is more magnificent than they could ever be,” said HSC Chairman & CEO Michael O’Sullivan.

Last month, at a private meeting organized by the Canadian Government in Winnipeg (to which animal protection organizations and the media were not invited) the results were not encouraging – no meaningful action plan to protect polar bears from recreational killing or climate change – which does not surprise O’Sullivan: “At every turn, the Canadian Government works tirelessly to ensure that polar bears are not listed as endangered under either Canadian or international law.”

“We will continue with our ongoing programs to protect polar bears, and when it comes to fighting cruelty we don’t give up. Ever,” he said.

“In our opinion, the Canadian Government plays an active and relentless role in moving these magnificent animals ever closer to the brink of extinction. “When someone destroys a work of man, we call him a vandal. But, when someone destroys a work of God and nature, we call him a sportsman,” said O’Sullivan

Sleepy Polar Bear

The Humane Society of Canada works to protect dogs, cats, horses, birds, livestock, lab animals, wildlife and the environment. They carry out hands on programs to help animals and nature, mount rescue operations, expose cruelty through hard hitting undercover investigations, work to pass laws to protect animals, funds non-invasive scientific research, support animal shelters and wildlife rehabilitation centres and spread the word about how to help animals and nature through humane education.

A registered charity, The Humane Society of Canada depends entirely on donations to support our programs to help animals and the environment. All donations are gratefully acknowledged with a receipt for income tax purposes. If you would like to support our campaign to protect animals and the earth, please make a donation. Because when it comes to fighting cruelty, we don’t give up. Ever.