Thousands of people across Canada were celebrating the BC government’s new ban on trophy hunting of grizzly bears, when there came a rude awakening: hunting of grizzly bears will continue, under the claim of hunting for meat! This was a shock because, previously, virtually all hunting of grizzly bears was trophy hunting, except for First Nations traditional hunting (which no one has opposed). Many hunters say the meat is tough, greasy, and bad-tasting. Up until now the government has classified grizzly bears with non-game animals, such as wolverines, wolves and cougars; the wildlife regulations explicitly allowed hunters to leave the meat on the ground and take only trophy parts.
Whether to have a meat hunt has received no public consultation. Instead the public was invited to comment on how the meat hunt should be regulated. The proposed regulations would be very difficult to enforce and will not prevent hunting grizzly bears for sport.
On October 14, 2017, 45 environmental and animal welfare organizations, plus wildlife-based businesses and prominent scientists, photographers and grizzly bear activists, sent an open letter to the BC government saying that they want a total ban on grizzly bear hunting, with the exception of jointly-regulated First Nations ceremonial and sustenance hunting. They believe the “meat hunt” will be a trophy hunt in disguise.