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New Jersey bears get reprieve -- for now.

December 03, 2004 | Bears

Bears in New Jersey have a reprieve, for now. This is not an animal-rights victory; it is simply an opinion that the Fish & Game Council have yet to implement a proper Code under which they may permit hunting as a method to control the bears ’ population. New Jersey is the most heavily populated state in the U.S. — by humans. No word on how New Jersey is addressing that… In any case, here’s a copy of the opinion that keeps bear-hunters at bay this season:

U.S. Sportsmen’s Alliance vs. NJ Dept. of Environmental Protection(pdf)

For background, here is the original action alert which was issued by Friends of Animals:

The state of New Jersey will again allow a bear hunt on December 6, 2004 unless Governor Richard J. Codey intervenes to call it off. The governor has publicly opposed the hunt, but the state Department of Environmental Protection is influenced by the US Fish and Wildlife Service, and the people who have their ear at trophy hunting groups.

The bear shoot has been actively opposed by DEP Commissioner Bradley Campbell, who had refused to issue permits until losing a lawsuit filed by Safari Club International and other hunting organizations.

The New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection, New Jersey estimates 1,600 bears in the state. Last year, the state organized its first public bear hunt in 33 years, whereby 328 bears were killed in six days.

Support the Right to Arm Bears decal-- click here

Comments

I think you sell the animals and all animal rights groups short when you say that this is not an animals-rights victory- stopping the NJ bear slaughter.Any movement in this directiion especially one that goes counter to the Dept.of Interior led by Norton is a first step and in the right direction. For you to say that this is not an animals rights victory illustrates and enforces our opinion of your group which has gotten too wealthy and has strayed away from the animals' struggle.I think you'd better reconvene an executive meeting and figure out exactly where the 'Frends of Animals' has gone astray.

It's clearly not an animal rights victory because the rights of bears were not recognized or even a consideration in the decision. The hunt has been delayed, not prevented -- read the decision. Once the Fish & Game Council implements "a proper Code under which they may permit hunting as a method to control the bears' population", the bears will be killed.

I do not think the bears care about the reason the hunt was stopped. The fact is it was stopped and groups such as New Jersey Animal Rights Alliance worked day and night to make that happen. The Supreme Court reversed a decision because of pressure from animal rights activists and the hunt was canceled. This is a major victory. The wolves of Alaska are still being slaughtered. Your worn-out methods obviously do not work. Are you in a position to criticize others who got the job done?

Kindly note that no group was criticized, or even mentioned, in our legal summary of the bear hunt decision. In the interest of accuracy, readers are advised to study the opinion before classifying it as a major victory. (No one would be more pleased than Friends of Animals by a major victory.) It would be just as inaccurate to decide that our methods aren't working because wolves are, tragically, still being shot. Stopping the aerial hunting is a challenge for the entire animal advocacy movement, not only Friends of Animals. Our methods will indeed work if enough activists join us in putting pressure on Alaska's government and supporting the boycott. We hope you'll strongly consider making a commitment to do so.

The opinion only addresses the implementation of a proper Code for hunting bears. A true animal rights victory would address the fundamental right of bears and other animals to live and probagate in peace, in which there is no place for hunting. Claiming this reprieve is a victory for animal rights sells the *animals* short.

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