The fight between the U.S. and Canada on whether or not to ban the cross-border trading of polar bear parts was a very close call. The U.S. proposed ban, but Canada’s native Inuit people were victorious in getting it defeated.
This was a large victory for Canada due to the fact that it is the only country that still permits the export of polar bear parts. They argued that they are critical economic resources for the Inuit’s because they do not have much else.
This, however, is a devastating blow for the polar bears. There are only about 25,000 left of them in the world with an estimated 16,000 living in the Canadian Arctic. Inuit hunters kill about 600 each year, which the U.S. believes is unsustainable. Despite their attempt to completely ban the trading of polar bear parts all together, Canada remains able to continue this trade market with the majority of the diminishing polar bear population resting in its hands.
Title: Polar bear trade ban vote defeated at meeting
Author: Matt McGrath
Source: BBC News, March 7, 2013
Student Researcher: Paige Fischer, Sonoma State University
Community Evaluator: Kenneth Judy, Ph.D., Biological Sciences