Connecticut Governor Dan Malloy, Stop The Slaughter Before It Starts!

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A bill on the hunting of black bears in the state of Connecticut is quickly making its way through both chambers of the legislature. The bill would allow allow inhumane hunting methods including baiting, bow-hunting, hounding, and shooting mothers and cubs.

Non-lethal methods of bear management are a far preferable solution. It’s purely a matter of responsibility by residents to secure their trash and keep pet food indoors. Special interest hunting groups are behind the false  assertions that a hunt is needed to reduce human-bear conflicts.

Contrary to popular belief, black bears are not dangerous carnivores, but gentle creatures who are 85% vegetarian and one-third the size of grizzly bears. They are considered to be the one of the most intelligent land dwelling species. The hunting of mother bears means that cubs are left orphaned without the survival skills to live on their own. They become additional casualties because they often starve or are hit by cars while looking for food.

Bear hunting in Florida was a disaster on every front - from negative media attention, to conflicting data, contentious public meetings, and mismanagement of the hunt itself. In 2015, Florida held a black bear hunt for the first time in 20 years. What was pushed as a necessity to reduce “nuisance bears” resulted in the hunting innocent bears, living far from civilization and causing no residential issues. The event drew public outrage and international media coverage, putting a black eye on the state. The week long hunt was called off after just two days as the quota was quickly reached and was far exceeded in some areas. 304 bears died a painful death on public lands, and unknown numbers on private property were never reported.

After the sickening events in 2015, our group has been successful in organizing over 70,000 supporters. We staged a historic statewide 28-city protest, and organized citizens to attend the public meetings, make calls and write emails. Our action stopped the hunt in Florida in 2016. And just this month, we won another victory for bears as the hunt in Florida was denied for 2017 and 2018. When considering their decision, the Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission (comprised of hunting supporters) declared that the public outcry was exhausting their ability to conduct other business, and that even if a hunt could be justified on population data, the will of the larger public outweighed the less than 1% minority of bear hunters’ desire to kill bears. Concerned citizens in Connecticut have now reached out for our help in organizing efforts to stop this bill.

We hope that you learn from the disaster in Florida. You can avoid a similar controversy.

Please oppose this bill and declare an intention to veto it before it reaches your desk.


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