Grizzly Exports – CP

by ahnationtalk on July 9, 201810 Views

Source: The Canadian Press – Broadcast wire
Jul 9, 2018

By Laura Kane

VANCOUVER – A new report commissioned by the David Suzuki Foundation says hunters from the European Union were granted export permits for grizzly bear trophies from British Columbia, even though the EU has banned the import of the items.

The report’s author reviewed export permits granted between 2004 and 2015 and found between 25 and 36 hunters from the EU received such permits, despite the fact that the bloc suspended the importation of grizzly trophies from B.C. in 2004.

Author Jeff Gaius writes that while the fate of most of these grizzly bear hunting trophies is unknown, records from Germany and Denmark indicate that some hunters tried unsuccessfully to import B.C. grizzly bear trophies.

He adds further research is needed to determine whether the remaining grizzly trophies were left in B.C. or in the United States, or if they were unlawfully transported into the European Union.

The B.C. government banned grizzly bear hunting last December, with the exception of First Nations, because there are only 15,000 of the animals left in the province and some populations are on the verge of disappearing.

Jay Ritchlin of the David Suzuki Foundation says the report shows the permitting system that governs people who want to move grizzly bear parts across international borders is ineffective and contains worrying loopholes.

“You would find export permits and then you would not find corresponding import permits,” or vice versa, said Ritchlin, the foundation’s director-general for B.C. and Western Canada.

“It was just a big hole, and there seemed to be many, many ways that these trophies could get lost in the mix. That tells us we don’t actually have a good system for understanding how many bears were being killed.”

Trade in grizzly bear body parts is regulated by the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora, or CITES. Non-resident hunters must apply for a CITES export permit if they want to transport their trophy out of Canada.

The B.C. and federal governments issued nearly 2,000 CITES permits for grizzly trophies since the province reinstated the hunt in 2001, according to the report.

The report calls for a formal review by CITES, as well as customs agencies in Canada and the European Union, to prevent EU hunters from killing grizzly bears in B.C. or other areas of Canada and attempting to import them into the EU.

Ritchlin said he’s very pleased that B.C. has banned grizzly hunting and hopes the province enacts a law to make the ban permanent.

“I do think it’s problematic that we don’t have the ability to track these (trophies) from point A to B when they’re on international treaties of endangered species,” he said.

“The other provinces in Canada need to start looking at their grizzly bear hunts very hard and considering winding them down.”

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(The Canadian Press)

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