British Columbia

Andrew Weaver calls for changes to grizzly bear hunting in B.C.

B.C.'s lone Green Party MLA Andrew Weaver has presented a private members bill he says will curb trophy killing of grizzly bears by forcing hunters to bring home the meat.

MLA Andrew Weaver says forcing hunters to take meat home will reduce trophy hunting

MLA Andrew Weaver has introduced a private member's bill that he says will limit trophy hunting of grizzlies in B.C. (Jonathan Hayward/The Canadian Press)

B.C.'s lone Green Party MLA Andrew Weaver has presented a private members bill he says will curb trophy killing of grizzly bears by forcing hunters to bring home the meat.

Currently in B.C., grizzly bear hunters can take certain parts of the animal, like the head, hands and fur, and leave behind the rest. For most other game, hunters must take the entire animal and either bring it directly home or to a butcher first.

"One of the key symbolic issues out there is of course the trophy hunting of grizzly bears by foreigners coming in and leaving the carcass behind," says Weaver.

Weaver says the bill would reduce trophy hunting because grizzly bears aren't commonly killed for their meat, which isn't considered to be appetizing and is subject to trichinosis if not cooked properly.

He says the bill would be an "important first step" towards grizzly bear conservation in B.C.

The bill would favour B.C. residents, according to Weaver, because most of them hunt for sustenance, not trophies. According to the B.C. Wildlife Federation, the number of B.C. residents who have taken up hunting has increased by about 20 per cent over the last decade.

The bill would also address recent concerns of B.C. hunters who have expressed disapproval of the province allowing more hunting licenses to guide outfitters, who serve hunters from outside B.C., than to residents.

"It puts the interest of British Colombians first and foremost in our hunting discussion," said Weaver.

He says he's confident the bill would pass because much of the support for the B.C. Liberals comes from rural residents.

To listen to the full interview with Andrew Weaver, click on the audio labelled: Could stopping trophy killing save grizzly bears in B.C.?

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