Public outcry against Canada's controversial bear hunt continues to mount, and now animal advocates are taking it to court. The groups Animal Alliance of Canada and Zoocheck Canada filed an application for judicial review and a notice of constitutional question regarding the hunt, which is set to begin on May 1.
This year's hunt is a pilot project meant to reintroduce the annual hunt which was cancelled in 1999. At the time, Canada's natural resources minister said it was the only acceptable way to ensure bear cubs weren't being orphaned.
Now the planned hunt will run for six weeks in eight wildlife areas -- mainly those known for having human-bear conflicts. Animal advocates say that the hunt is inhumane, especially because it occurs just as bears are coming out of hibernation in the Spring, when they are at their weakest and most vulnerable. They also note that though the government claims that the hunt is carried out to reduce conflicts with humans, studies have shown that non-conflict programs like Bear Wise are more effective than hunts -- and don't involve killing animals.