A new awareness campaign, unveiled today with the help of pop artist Miley Cyrus, is aiming to help spread the word that despite the new ban on trophy hunting, bears in British Columbia are being hunted via a loophole that allows hunters to claim them as food.
The campaign’s centrepiece is an online video featuring Miley Cyrus performing a rendition of Teddy Bears’ Picnic against the backdrop of an empty wilderness. Viewers are encouraged to visit the campaign microsite, www.saveBCbears.org, where they can sign a petition, make a donation, and record their own version of the song to share via social media.
While British Columbia is working to put new laws into place banning sport hunting in the Great Bear Rainforest, hunters throughout the rest of the province can circumvent the law by removing a portion of meat from a bear’s carcass and claiming the kill as food. This makes the law challenging to enforce and may lead to increased poaching.
The goal of the campaign is to work towards a full ban on all grizzly bear hunting throughout the province.
“The grizzly bear is the second slowest reproducing land mammal in North America, one that’s threatened throughout much of its natural range and habitat,” says Ian McAllister, Executive Director at Pacific Wild. “Grizzly bears occupy just 2 per cent of their former range in the lower 48 states today. They are also not a necessary or ethical food source. We’re hoping this campaign will prompt the government to close this loophole and help the government hear the opinion of over 90 per cent of British Columbians who wish to see a total and complete end to this barbaric hunt.”
Proceeds from the campaign will go towards Pacific Wild’s public education efforts, advocacy and conservation campaigns for the protection of bears, wolves and other threatened species and habitats.