The Ontario Federation of Agriculture is now standing with the Ontario Federation of Anglers and Hunters (OFAH) in its call to restart the spring bear hunt, following News that the Ministry of Natural Resources (MNR) has discontinued services provided under the province’s Bear Wise program.
Among the services no longer offered is the trap and relocation of problem bears.
“It’s clear that the Bear Wise program was ineffective at managing the problem,” said OFA president Mark Wales. “The rising bear population is causing increasing damage to crops and putting human safety at risk. It’s time to bring back the spring bear hunt to responsibly and effectively get the bear population under control.”
The annual spring bear hunt in Ontario was cancelled in 1999 for reasons the MNR never clearly stated.
According to the OFA, the hunt generated more than $6 million in economic activity annually across northern Ontario, while now hungry bears impose millions of dollars of loss on those same communities.
“The spring bear hunt offers economic opportunities to northern communities in need, and it takes care of a real need to prevent damage, danger and expense to rural communities and Ontario farm families,” Wales said.