Inuits Protest Against Any Proposed Bans on Polar Bear Hunting
An article in the Los Angeles times (read full article here) details that Polar Bear skins are fetching up to $16,500 each – a new high following unprecedented rises over the last two years, when beforehand, skins could have fetched just $1000. Internationally there are calls to ban all polar bear hunting in Canada, the only country in the world that allows its Polar Bears to be shot and sold commercially on the international market. Canada equates to an estimated 77% of the supply of the world trade in Polar Bears.
The United States government is being lobbied to support an ‘uplist’ of the Polar Bear at next year’s CITES conference, which will ban the international trade in Polar Bears globally, including Canada. However, Inuits, who are legally allowed to hunt the polar bears are resisting this change.
Under Canadian law, only native Inuit can hunt and sell polar bears as a “subsistence” harvest. Foreign sport hunters — most of them come now from Europe and Russia since the U.S. banned importation of polar bear trophies — must be accompanied by an Inuit guide and hunt in the traditional way, using a dog sled. Many pay as much as $50,000 for the privilege, a bonanza for remote towns where the occasional tourist is unlikely to pay anywhere near that amount. It is this ‘tweaking’ of the rules that has caused concern for welfare groups worldwide.
You can read more about hunting here.