October 3, 2017 4:37 pm
Updated: October 3, 2017 5:27 pm

Poll suggests majority of British Columbians support complete ban on grizzly bear hunt

THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
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A new poll suggests three-quarters of British Columbians think grizzly bears should not be hunted in this province at all.

The online survey, conducted by Insights West, found 74 per cent of the over 800 participants said they would support a ban on hunting grizzly bears, while 19 per cent are opposed.

Over 800 people responded to the study across the province, including several self-described hunters, 58 per cent of whom said they would support a ban.

The survey was held for three days at the end of August, two weeks after the B.C. government banned trophy hunting of grizzly bears. A residential hunt is still allowed under the new ruling.

READ MORE: Roughly 75% of rural British Columbian voters oppose grizzly bear trophy hunt: poll

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The study found 78 per cent of women across B.C. support a complete ban on the hunting of grizzly bears. The area of the province with the most support for a ban was Vancouver Island, with 81 per cent of residents there voting against the hunt.

Eighty-one per cent of people who voted for both the NDP or the Green Party in the B.C. provincial election in May are in support of the ban, while residents aged 35 to 54 make up the age group that supports a ban the most, with 79 per cent.

READ MORE: B.C. NDP plan to ban grizzly bear trophy hunt

“With so many residents who believe grizzlies should not be hunted at all, there is definitely appetite for more action” beyond the government’s trophy hunting ban, Mario Canseco of Insights West said.

Province to consult on grizzly regulations

The poll comes as the province announces a round of public consultation on its new grizzly hunting regulations, to take effect Nov. 30.

Earlier this summer, the new NDP government announced plans to ban trophy hunting, which would close all grizzly hunting in the Great Bear Rainforest, and would block hunters from possessing the paws, head or hide of a grizzly.

Hunting for meat is still permitted.

In a media release, the Ministry of Forests Lands and Natural Resources said it now wants input on five areas related to the new rules:

  • Changes to manage the ban in hunting areas that overlap the Great Bear Rainforest;
  • Changes that will prohibit the possession of “trophy” grizzly bear parts;
  • Changes that will manage prohibited grizzly bear parts;
  • Changes to prohibit the trafficking of grizzly bear parts, and
  • New reporting requirements for taxidermists.

British Columbians looking to weigh in can find out more here, and make comment until Nov. 2.

© 2017 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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