Canada Responds to European Decision on Polar Bear Imports

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Canada’s Environment Minister, Jim Prentice today issued the following statement upon the release of the European Union Scientific Review Group’s decision on Polar Bear imports. 

“I was pleased to learn that the European Union’s Scientific Review Group has indicated that it is satisfied with Canada’s management of its polar bear population.  I am encouraged that the EU interim ruling released today allows for the continued import into the European Union of polar bear hides and trophies from Canada, with the exception of those from declining bear populations in Kane Basin and Baffin Bay in northeastern Nunavut. 

“The decision follows the presentation on Canada’s management approach to conserving polar bears, made by federal and Nunavut officials last week to the European Union Scientific Review Group meeting in Brussels.

“During the meeting, Canada’s delegation, which included a member from the Nunavut government, explained the most recent science findings on polar bear populations and the current steps underway by provinces, territories and wildlife management boards to manage polar bear populations including the quota system for harvest and sport hunting.

“The scientific group indicated that it would review its decision on Kane Basin and Baffin Bay polar populations as soon as new actions are taken to protect them.  Canada is working cooperatively with the Nunavut government and Nunavut Wildlife Management Board to do this.”

On November 26, Minister Prentice announced that a national roundtable on the polar bear will be held on January 16, 2009 in Winnipeg to discuss the path forward in protecting the polar bear. 

For further information, please contact:

Frédéric Baril
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of the Environment
(819) 997-1441