Thirty-eight environmental and animal welfare groups have signed an open letter to the B.C. government opposing the continuation of grizzly bear hunting for meat.

In August, B.C's NDP government announced the province is ending the controversial hunt after this year's season. 

The letter states the groups are pleased the government is committed to end the trophy hunt, but "people do not travel hundreds or thousands of kilometres, pay tens of thousands of dollars and risk their lives shooting at grizzly bears to put meat on the table." 

"The proposed new regulations for meat hunting will simply disguise trophy hunting as meat hunting," the letter states. 

The BC SPCA, Animal Advocates of B.C., Animal Justice, the David Suzuki Foundation, and Zoocheck Canada are among the organizations voicing their opposition.

About 250 grizzlies are killed annually by hunters in B.C., a number Natural Resources Minister Doug Donaldson said in August is "sustainable" for the population estimated at 15,000 bears. However, the open letter disputes the claim.

"Grizzly bears are a species at risk," said Wayne McCrory, a bear biologist and Valhalla Wilderness Society director, in a news release.

"For years independent scientists have warned the government B.C. may have far fewer grizzly bears than we think."

Regulation Guidelines to come 

There are still many questions about how hunting bears for meat will be policed, or what hunters are supposed to do with the hide, the head or the paws of the grizzly bear, which they will no longer be allowed to possess.

The province is seeking input on the upcoming ban, including how to manage prohibited grizzly bear parts and new reporting requirements for taxidermists. 

The exact regulations will be determined after a consultation process, which ends Nov. 2, 2017. 

The ban will take effect  throughout the province Nov. 30, 2017.