Covered at Reason 24/7: Canada Wins, U.S. Fails to Get Ban on Polar Bear Trade


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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  1. Okay, is this anything like Inuit whale harvesting? Because the rules for that, as I understand them, is that you have to do it old school with paddled boats and harpoons. So do the Inuits go out and try to take down a polar bear with dogs and spears? Or is it sitting around with a scoped .308 and waiting until you see a bloody muzzle full of seal? Because if some crazy mofo is going out after a polar bear with a spear, I got big props for that pyscho bastard.

    1. I don’t know about the Inuits specifically, but everything I’ve heard about modern native hunting methods is they use a rifle, usually something chambered in a cheap cartridge like .223, and shoot for the head.

      Granted, it takes a lot of balls to shoot at a polar bear with a .223, but it’s not exactly spear hunting, either.

  2. Once again those filthy backward natives stand in the way of the noble white man doing what’s right.

  3. “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.”

    I think a hunter armed only with a Canadian permit is foolishly brave, bordering on the suicidal.

  4. the U.S. effort was opposed by the Inuits

    What the fuck do they know?

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  5. Is there an overwhelming demand for polar bear parts or something?

    1. If it was determined that polar bear spleen was the key ingredient in ED drugs, the discussion would be very different.

  6. I’m pretty sure Canada is bigger than the US.

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