The Florida Black Bear Hunt: Shame on FWC
On Friday, October 30th, United for Animals Florida organizers, activists and concerned citizens gathered outside the West Palm Beach office of the Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC). Led by local activist Alejando Ariel Dintino, our goal was to raise awareness about the sickening reality of the Florida black bear hunt that occurred on October 24th in hopes of preventing a second bear hunt - EVER. Fortunately the majority of Floridians opposed this hunt and the media seems likewise appalled so we received a lot of media coverage for this event. Thanks to this we were able to spread our message about all of the rules that were broken during the hunt (lactating mother bears killed, underweight bears and cubs killed, etc.)
Sun-Sentinel, CBS12 News
Our open letter to the FWC:
"Back in June of this year Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission approved a 7-day hunt of our Florida black bears. FWC claimed a hunt was necessary for the conservation of the black bear population and to reduce human-bear conflicts.
A flood of concerns and questions began pouring in to the FWC from animal advocacy groups and even Ron Bergeron, a fellow FWC Commissioner.
How can you approve the killing of 320 bears based on a population count from 2002?
How can you approve the killing of 320 bears when bear-resistant trash cans would solve the problem?
How can you approve the killing of 320 bears when the FWC itself acknowledges that killing these bears will not reduce human-bear conflicts?
How can you approve the killing of 320 bears when they were just considered a threatened species just 3 years ago?
How can you approve the killing of 320 bears when more than 75% of Floridian's oppose the hunt of this iconic animal?
Unfortunately FWC was more concerned with money and pleasing a small minority of hunters and developers to listen to reason. And now we are left to ask...
How could you allow the killing of at least 300 of our beautiful Florida black bears?
How could you sell over 3,800 permits to kill when the quota was 320?
How could you watch as hunters dragged in the lifeless bodies of at least 10 nursing mother bears?
How could you watch as hunters dragged in the lifeless bodies of at least 3 bear cubs?
And perhaps the biggest question of all - HOW DO YOU SLEEP AT NIGHT?"
The FWC in it's current state is the very definition of "the fox guarding the hen house" and we need to change that. EVERY SINGLE ONE of the current FWC Commissioners holds a Florida hunting license. The board is primarily composed of real estate developers and hunter/fishermen. These commissioners were appointed by notoriously environmentally unfriendly Governor Rick Scott. Since election Governor Scott and the FWC have been systematically dismantling wildlife protections for our iconic Florida animals.
The FWC is already planning ANOTHER hunt of our iconic Florida Black Bears. Please - get involved, we need to take action now to let the FWC know we will NEVER allow another slaughter like the one we witnessed October 24th.
Follow United for Animals Florida on Facebook for updates on upcoming events and efforts to save our bears!
Links to Media Coverage of Protest: