Anthony Marr has one of the toughest challenges on earth. In a world that
values the preservation of cultural traditions, he is trying to erase one
of the most powerful. In the process, he hopes to save several major
animal species from extinction.
ambitious goal to say the least. Despite devoting himself to it full time
for the past several years, he has obtained only limited success. But that
hasn’t discouraged him.
became a fairly well known media figure two years ago (and a despised one
among recreational hunters) when he championed an attempt to ban all bear
hunting in BC. He and WCWC failed… but he’s back at it with a brand new
doubt that any policy will be changed this time either, but I admire
a plan to pose as a wealthy Chinese businessman and secretly video-tape
the killing of a captive bear at a Korean “bear banquet”, “where they
sometimes lower a bear in a cage on to a bed of hot coal until their paws
are cooked, for maximum freshness and perhaps extreme entertainment,” said
long way from China or Taiwan or Korea to the backwoods of BC where trophy
hunting takes place, but Marr is convinced that all of the atrocities
against bears must be dealt with together…
of course is where domestic opposition comes in…
meeting here during the referendum campaign brought out some serious
heckling. Almost disappointingly, there was little of that this time
around. A debate with hunters is always fun, and often productive, and
Marr enjoys it…
Anthony Marr has a huge job ahead of him, and I hope he will one day
strange to me that those who kill animals for entertainment control
wildlife policy in this province, rather than those who want to keep them
alive. If you doubt that, allow me to point out that the BC Wildlife
Federation, which is an organization of hunters, proposed to Environment
Minister Cathy McGregor earlier this year that non-hunters should have to
buy a license to use the woods.
She said she will seriously
look into it.
Realizing that hunters would probably lose a referendum on bear hunting,
the Federation knows it must stop the environmentalists now. The
hunters will concentrate their efforts in pro-hunting interior communities
and leave the urban areas alone.
“The hunters' message is that
poaching is not out of control, that bear populations can support hunting
and that hunting is a valid way for wildlife officials to manage
if all the logic is on our side, it is hard to counter emotion,”
Federation President John Holdstock) said.
Saying that hunters legally kill 4,000 Black bears and 350 Grizzlies a
year in BC, Marr argues that the hunting ban will help protect BC bears from
inevitable onslaught of poaching to meet the rising Asian herbal-medicine
trade in gall bladders.
To that end, Marr is waging a simultaneous campaign to educate the Chinese
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