Alaskan Congressman Don Young has reintroduced legislation amending the Marine Mammal Protection Act of 1972 to allow the importation of polar bear trophies taken in sport hunts in Canada before May 15, 2008, the date the polar bear was determined to be a threatened species under the Endangered Species Act (H.R. 991) . As of the listing date, there were roughly 41 hunters with legally taken trophies now prohibited from entering the U.S. In conjunction, Congressman Young also introduced legislation allowing for the continued importation of legally taken polar bear trophies from Canada (H.R. 990).
“There is no conservation value in a dead bear that is held in cold storage in Canada,” said Rep. Young. “Those who legally hunted and harvested these polar bears fully complied with all U.S. and Canadian laws in place at the time of their hunt and are now paying to keep their trophies in cold storage because bureaucracy and politics have gotten in the way of their rights. Most Canadian polar bear populations are healthy and well managed and sport hunting activities fund important conservation programs. Additionally, these expensive hunts support and feed remote Native villages. Holding these legally taken trophies hostage for political gain is wasteful and foolish and with this legislation we will correct this ridiculous determination.”