Legislation Allows Pre-2008 Canadian Polar Bear Trophies Into U.S.

A polar bearskin drying on a frame on a porch in Pangnirtung, Nunavut, Canada. (Photo by Mike Beauregard/Flickr Creative Commons)

A polar bearskin drying on a frame on a porch in Pangnirtung, Nunavut, Canada. (Photo by Mike Beauregard)

The U.S. House passed a bill Wednesday that included a provision allowing some 41 American sport hunters to bring polar bear trophies home from Canada.

It’s an issue Alaska Congressman Don Young has been working on for five years. Young, on the House floor, said the animals were shot in Canada, before the bear was listed under the Endangered Species Act in 2008.

“Keep in (mind the) fact these are dead polar bears in storage hunted legally, under the premise of Canadian and United States law,” Young said.

Young, an avid hunter, is an ardent critic of the Endangered Species Act, but he says this just helps a pair of Alaskans and a few dozen other American hunters whose trophies have been sitting in cold storage for years.

He says the importation would send about $41,000 to a U.S.-Russian polar bear conservation fund.

The issue has drawn limited opposition in the past, but this week the Obama Administration said it has no objection.

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