Sports

New Zealand to ban live bear hunts

Posted July 05, 2018 09:30:02 New Zealand has been granted the green light to ban the hunt of live bears in the wake of a string of fatal attacks on bears, the country’s National Parks and Wildlife Service said on Monday.

A vote by the parliament’s conservation committee last month approved a motion to ban all live bear attacks, but it was not unanimous.

The government will then work with the parliament and the environment ministry to craft a final proposal, which it expects to be in place by September, it said.

The move will bring New Zealand in line with several other countries, including Australia, Canada and the United States, that have already banned the practice.

It comes at a time when the number of attacks has plummeted in recent years.

In April 2018, a bear killed a woman in New Zealand’s north-west, after being trapped in a tree.

Two years earlier, a 22-year-old man was shot dead by a bear at a farmhouse in the northern New Zealand town of Kaitaia, sparking a national investigation.

The country has also seen a decline in bear attacks in recent decades, as a result of the use of baits and other techniques to discourage bears from attacking people.

But the killing of a bear in New York in February 2018 was a further blow to the sport, with a total of seven people killed in more than three years.

A new government bill will see the hunting of live or injured bears banned for the first time.

A live or dead bear will now only be killed by a hunter who has an “active, pre-existing, valid hunting permit” from the Parks and Nature Service.