polar bear and cubThe Obama administration gets high praise for its decision to uphold a ban on the importation of polar bear trophies from Canada killed by US hunters. For twenty years such importation had been illegal until the Bush Administration reversed the law in 1994 resulting in the killing of almost 1,000 polar bears since then. It is already illegal for American hunters to engage in this practice in their own country.

For a number of years, alongside many other concerned groups and individuals, we have 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.

A copy of our letters can be found here. Also included are very graphic and disturbing photographs that were sent to us by a group of American hunters who had killed a polar bear in northern Canada. We hoped to send a grim and emphatic message to US lawmakers about the nature of such trophy hunts and the kind of people who participate in them.

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. We will redouble our efforts to call for a total import ban. Most of the recreational killing of these animals is by American and European hunters.

With habitats shrinking 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 my 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.

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 me: 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.

In my 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. When someone destroys a work of God and nature, we call him a sportsman.