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Bear hunt stirs controversy in New Jersey
The 2010 New Jersey bear hunt inched closer to becoming reality last month, causing debate as to whether or not this is what’s right for the black bear population in the state. There has been a ban on hunting black bear in New Jersey for the last four years, but in March, Acting Department of Environmental Protection Commissioner Bob Martin approved a new policy that would overturn the ban.
Those in favor of the hunt feel it is necessary for safety purposes and in order to keep bears out of communities. Animal activists and organizations, however, feel hunting is definitely not the answer.
The Humane Society of the United States feels that hunting may lead to a drop in the number of bears this year, but it is only a temporary solution. While bears will be killed this year, they will continue to reproduce and potentially wander into neighborhoods again in the years to come. Bear hunting opponents are suggesting long-term actions to minimize the number of bears wandering into residential areas.
Simple tasks to reduce bear rummaging include securing trash bins or leaving them indoors until trash day, and keeping all food — including pet food — inside. And if necessary, people can use firecrackers as a humane way to scare off bears that linger close to their home.
All opposed to the hunt have until May 11 — the closing of the comment period — to take action. Please sign this petition to stop the New Jersey bear hunt.