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BEAR Group Joined by Friends of Animals and New Jersey Lawyers Group, Pressing NJ Governor to Halt Bear Kill in 2010

November 09, 2010 | Bears

9 Nov. 2010

MORRISTOWN, NEW JERSEY -- The international advocacy group Friends of Animals and New Jersey group Lawyers in Defense of Animals announced support for the position of the Bear Education and Resource Group (BEAR Group), stating that Governor Chris Christie and Department of Environmental Protection Commissioner Bob Martin have it all wrong on bears.

"If bears might live and thrive in New Jersey, we as state residents are highly fortunate people," said Marie Ansari, secretary of Lawyers in Defense of Animals (LIDA).

"We're the most densely populated state, human-wise. Co-existence with bears, a community in recovery, is a feat to be proud of."

Said Lee Hall of Friends of Animals (FoA), "Bears have now been encountered in all 21 New Jersey counties. Their population is up from a weak three-figure number to a more viable four-figure number."

Hall added, "This is excellent news for the eastern US biocommunity, and a testament to co-existence education undertaken by the BEAR Group and officials. New Jersey should be capable of seeing the glass as half full."

LIDA and FoA oppose the killing of bears, and lauded the well-attended protest in Paramus on Saturday. The Record (published by the North Jersey Media Group) observed 100 people protesting New Jersey's proposed killing plans (scheduled to take place Dec. 6-11) outside Borough Hall despite a bitter wind.

Doris Lin, Vice President of Legal Affairs for the BEAR Group, stated: "We welcome support from New Jersey's Lawyers in Defense of Animals in this vital project to have bears understood and respected. We thank Friends of Animals, long-time champions of free-living animals' interests, for educating their international membership about the bears who grace New Jersey, and our efforts to ensure a lasting, enlightened policy."

"The governor has got this completely backwards," said Friends of Animals board member Sally Malanga. "One has to wonder whether Gov. Chris Christie is intentionally ignoring the facts in order to provide a trophy hunt for certain supporters."

Analysis by Edward A. Tavss, PhD shows New Jersey Fish and Game Council altered the method it had used since 1995 to tally bear incidents reported to the Department of Environmental Protection's Division of Fish and Wildlife.

Beginning in 2007, the Council inexplicably changed its method and began adding duplicate complaints being made to the police. Dr. Tavss's report shows that, if the single, original method is used to count complaints from 1995 to 2009, bear encounters have gone down.

Moreover, the study includes several incidents which were recorded by the Department of Environmental Protection Communication Center as simple bear sightings or "nuisances"- counted by Fish and Wildlife as serious threats.

Malanga called for an investigation to determine whether this skewing of the incident complaints was done intentionally.

"Rather than teaching our society to kill other living beings, we should be following the proven path of public awareness. Then we win, and our native animals win," said Malanga, a resident of northern New Jersey.

Comments

Please we need to stop the Bear hunt! It has gotten to the point if something doesn't suit the public then let's just get rid of it! Not the way we should handle these issues! EDUCATION is needed on all levels.

Gov. Christie needs to get the facts straight and work and educate himself with help from Friends of Animals and the Bear Group. Killing of Bears must Stop. We must All co-exist with all living creatures. Where are they to live especially with so much development/destruction of their habitat?? Allowing "Trophy Hunting" for Friends and certain Supporters is morally wrong. No Animal should be Hunted Down for any reason whatsoever.

Another slaughter of wildlife. On one hand the state says the population is in check and on the other hand they state differently.Get the facts right, being that the only answer our state has concerning wildlife and its population is to eradicate it. This is very upsetting to me as I am an animal lover and advocate. We can all live in harmony, but it's all about the money and nothing more. Sterilization could be implemented but the hunters won't hear of it. Politics, not concern for what is right takes the forefront. Albert Schweitzer wrote: Think occasionally of the suffering of which you spare yourself the sight. Tell me what happens to the cubs when "MOM" is taken from them. Call the Governor and let your voices be HEARD. Things have to change NOW. Gail

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