The United States has been trying to ban the international polar bear trade at a conference in Bangkok for the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (to which the U.S. is a party with 176 other countries). Only Canada allows the export of polar bear furs and their parts, and the U.S. effort was opposed by the Inuits who hunt the polar bears as well as conservationist groups like the WWF, whose delegate at the convention said a ban would put special interests ahead of the science, and who say polar bear hunting is negligible factor in the survival of the species.
From the BBC:
A proposal by the US to ban cross-border trade in polar bears and their parts was defeated on Thursday at an international meeting.
The result marks a victory for Canada's indigenous Inuit people over their bigger neighbour to the south.
Delegates at the Cites meeting in Thailand rejected the proposal to change the bear's status from a species whose trade is regulated, not banned.
The U.S.-led effort to pass a ban was also supported by Russia, which said their polar bears were being hunted with Canadian permits.
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