Baiting bear with ‘junk food’ indefensible

To the Editor;
    Maine’s bear management program is anything but “wildly successful,” as claimed by David Trahan (Maine communities could become more dangerous without bear baiting, hounding, trapping, July 9).
    The Department of Inland Fisheries & Wildlife’s own data showing the bear population has grown from 23,000 to more than 30,000 in the last 10 years is evidence of that.
    This 30 percent increase is due to millions of pounds of human junk food being dumped into our woods every year to lure bears for easy kills.

    Bear baiting grows the population and habituates bears to people, which increases the likelihood of conflict.
    You don’t need to be a bear biologist to understand the connection. Using baiting to supposedly control the bear population and prevent conflicts is like trying to solve an ant problem by dumping bread crumbs and maple syrup on your floor.
    Because shooting a bear with her head buried in a pile of pizza and jelly doughnuts is indefensible, those opposed to this common sense measure resort to attacking the messenger.
    The Humane Society of the United States is not an anti-hunting organization. We join responsible hunters in opposing cruel and unsporting practices such as bear baiting, hounding and trapping; and many rank-and-file hunters agree these practices are inhumane and unacceptable.
    The HSUS is proud to be a part of the Mainers for Fair Bear Hunting Coalition.
    A “yes” vote in November will restore fair chase to Maine’s bear hunt, and provide the long overdue prescription for addressing Maine’s growing bear population.
Katie Hansberry
Maine state director
Humane Society
of the United States

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