I've just signed a petition here sending a message to the Canadian government in protest at their granting of licences to shoot polar bears for so-called 'sport'.
But for indigenous people, such as the Chukchi people from north east Russia, hunting polar bears is a fundamental part of their identity. A young man comes of age by taking part in a polar bear hunt, and the animal's skin is then made into clothes that he will wear to hunt for the rest of his life. I have grown to accept that indigenous people have the right to wear polar bear pants. More than that, I have come to see the survival of the traditional ways of people who understand bears and their habitat sufficiently well to be able to hunt them, as a key part of polar bear conservation.
So, I am not opposed to the hunting of polar bears per se. But so-called 'sport hunting' is a totally different matter. There is no moral basis for people with no cultural or spiritual connection with polar bears to gun them down, often from helicopters. It's a disgusting practice, and one the Canadian government profits hugely from, selling polar bear hunting licences for up to 60,000 Canadian dollars.
No civilised country should tolerate this. Please join me in telling the Canadian government to stop the sale of 'sport' licences for hunting polar bears. The petition is here.
N.B. The picture is from the Bear With Us bear sanctuary.