Bittersweet ruling for polar bears leaves trophy import ban intact

Thursday, June 30, 2011
Washington, D.C.
Jeffrey Flocken, D.C. Office Director, International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW -, issued the following statement regarding today’s decision by U.S. District Court Judge Emmet Sullivan to uphold the polar bear’s “threatened” listing under the Endangered Species Act:

“While we are disappointed that polar bears have not yet been afforded the highest possible level of protection under the Endangered Species Act, we are thankful that the Court ruled against those special interests that aimed to remove the polar bear from protection under the U.S. law entirely.

Polar bears are already standing on thin ice. With the population of the species in decline, the needless hunting of them for sport must not be an option. As pro-trophy hunting organizations continue the fight to skirt existing laws and import polar bear trophies, today’s decision serves to reinforce the fact that the species is in jeopardy. The short-term special interests of hunting groups must never take precedence over long-term conservation efforts for the protection of polar bears.”

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