CT bear hunt bill shot down by Environment Committee

CT bear hunt bill shot down by Environment Committee

Connecticut’s black bears are safe thanks to Friends of Animals and our supporters. On Wednesday, a bear trophy hunt bill was shot down by the Environment Committee of the General Assembly 21 to 8 with one member absent.

“FoA is relieved that common sense and truth prevailed among those legislators on the Environment Committee who shot the vile bear trophy hunting bill down with their votes,” said FoA President Priscilla Feral. “The DEEP bureaucracy needs to advance education without shooting animals to death, and they can’t be the mouthpiece for only 1 percent of state residents who hunt.” 

We at Friends of Animals want to thank all our Connecticut supporters who received our letters and saw our ads in newspapers and contacted their legislators to tell them to vote against the bear hunt bill. Your calls and letters resulted in a huge victory for Connecticut’s bears.

We ask that you write to the following legislators to thank them for voting against the bill: Sen. Kennedy; Rep. Demicco; Sen. Flexer; Sen. Somers; Rep. Gresko; Rep. Harding; Rep. Borer; Rep. Byron; Rep. Carney; Rep. Dillon; Rep. Dunsby; Rep. McGorty; Rep. Mushinsky; Rep. Pavlock’D’Amato; Rep. Reyes; Rep. Ryan; Rep. Santiago; Rep. Slap; Rep. Tong; Rep. Young and Rep. Ziogas. You can find a directory here: https://www.cga.ct.gov/env/.

FoA testified at a public hearing last Friday, pointing out that there have been zero fatal bear attacks in CT but there have been 10 fatal killings by hunters and 114 injuries in CT since 1982, according to data provided by the state to FoA in response to a Freedom of Information request.

“Allowing a bear hunt will not make residents in the state safer,” said FoA Communications Director Fran Silverman. “In fact, there is a weak correlation between the population of black bears and bear attacks, according to a study in The Journal of Wildlife Management. Bear-human conflict is more closely correlated with human behavior.”

“Bear-proof garbage cans and education, not guns, are what’s needed to prevent human/black bear conflict in Litchfield County, where a whopping 182,571 people live and a paltry 235 black bears reside,” added Nicole Rivard, correspondent for FoA. “DEEP already has a nuisance bear program in place—there were only 5 nuisance black bears in the entire state in 2017. As one state biologist told us recently, black bears are actually shy.

“Shooting bears in a bear trophy hunt will not teach the ones who aren’t slaughtered not to be opportunistic feeders. But educating people about how their behaviors enhance risks will make a difference.”