Committee to Abolish Sport Hunting

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People Are More Dangerous Than Bears

Sent to NY Newsday letters@newsday.com  

10/1/03

After reading the recent article on bears in New Jersey (Not Grinning, Nor Bearing It  9/28), one gets the impression that bears are overrunning the state and are destroying everything in their path.  Fortunately for both humans and bears, this is far from the case.

New Jersey’s black bears are not a threat to human safety.  In the recorded history of the state, bears have never attacked and seriously injured a human of any age.  The main complaint about bears is that they damage bird feeders and rummage through improperly-stored trash.  One tactic used by the New Jersey Division of Fish and Wildlife to frighten people living in bear country is to report on “home entries,” but when speaking about home entries, one must make the distinction between break-ins and other types of entries.  If a bear walks into a house through an open garage or porch, this can hardly be called a break-in.  Nevertheless, the pro-hunting Division of Fish and Wildlife reports that there have been fifty-four home “break-ins” by bears this year in New Jersey.  What they don’t tell you is that this number pales in comparison to the number of burglaries committed by humans in bear country - crimes that are far more likely to cause serious injury to the victims.  According to the Utah-based Crime Analysis Associates, in the year 2001 there were a combined 133 burglaries in the towns of Vernon and West Milford – two towns most heavily populated by bears.  When crime statistics are analyzed, it is clear that living among humans is a far greater danger than living among black bears.

Fish and Wildlife stokes the fires of a hunt because their entire budget depends upon killing animals.  Fees generated by the sale of hunting licenses pay the salaries of Fish and Wildlife employees, and excise taxes on firearms and ammunition pay them to turn wildlife into living targets.  Their goal is to pump out bullets and arrows at the expense of the animals, the community, and human safety.  This is a fact that cannot be disputed.

Fish & Game admits that the amount of available habitat can hold many more bears than presently live in New Jersey, and by doing so, admits that bears are not overpopulated.   They demonize the bears and call for a hunt anyway, because with the diminishing number of hunters in the state it is the only way they can keep their jobs.

The Fish and Game Council – the autonomous body that authorized the bear hunt, is out of touch with the desires New Jersey’s people.  It operates without public oversight and is not held accountable to any government body.  The members of the Council address problems by shooting first and asking questions later.  To learn more about the destructive realities of state and federal game management agencies, please contact the Committee to Abolish Sport Hunting at (845) 256-1400 and visit our website at http://www.all-creatures.org/cash/

Joe Miele, Vice President
Committee to Abolish Sport Hunting
Box 562
New Paltz, NY  12563
201-368-8271

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