Letter to the Editor submitted by Sherry Wernicke and Allison Fox
Right now, the Connecticut Senate is considering Senate Bill 586, which creates a loophole allowing the barbaric practice of black bear trophy hunting. We urge you to tell your Senators to vote NO on SB586.
SB586 unnecessarily expands a landowner’s ability to kill bears and other wildlife.
Landowners have no obligation under this bill to first try humane and efficacious non-lethal alternatives to slaughtering these wonderful animals. This duplicitous legislation creates an incentive – through the trophy hunting loophole – to encourage the trafficking of wildlife animal parts, by allowing the landowner to retain and sell bear parts. Although impossible to imagine, bears’ paws and gallbladders garner enormous amounts of money.
SB586 is completely unnecessary! Farmers already can manage problem bears. Instead, we should be promoting proven approaches like public education, removing food attractants, electric fences, and properly secured chicken coops. Numerous scientific studies have shown hunting is not the solution for bear-related conflicts.
DEEP must aggressively pursue humane options statewide. Connecticut’s beloved black bears deserve protection from the senseless cruelty Senate Bill 586 promises. As with all wildlife-human interactions, we should encourage co-existence through humane, long-term solutions.
Let your state lawmakers know that you care about animals and vote, and ask them to oppose SB 586.