Mark Hunter MP Signs-up to Protect Polar Bears

January 28, 2010 4:21 PM
Mark has worked tirelessly on animal welfare issues since elected in 2005.

Mark has worked tirelessly on animal welfare issues since elected in 2005.

Local MP Mark Hunter today (28th January 2010) signed a special parliamentary motion in the House of Commons which calls on the government to support increased protection for polar bears.

Not only is the survival of the polar bear threatened due to the loss of suitable habitat through climate change, but it is also in danger from the international commercial trade in polar bear products. Although it is currently listed in Appendix II under CITES, polar bear parts and products can still be legally traded internationally.

More than 25,000 polar bear specimens and products (polar bear skin rugs, skins, claws, bodies, trophies, live animals) were traded internationally in the past 10 years, including more than 5,000 for commercial purposes (e.g. polar bear skin rugs) and non-commercial (e.g. trophies) purposes; exports of polar bear specimens for both purposes have increased since the early 1990s.

A proposal has been submitted to the upcoming meeting, in March, of Convention on the International Trade in Endangered Species of Fauna and Flora (CITES), to give the polar bear added protection by moving it up, from Appendix II, to Appendix I.

The UK government can support the proposal and can also encourage its EU counterparts to support it to.

Commenting, Mark said:

"I am pleased to sign this motion to give the added protection, so desparately needed, to these magnificent creatures. No only is the polar bear under terrible threat from the loss of its habitat, its numbers are also threatened by trade in its fur and other body parts. We must do all we can to help protect this iconic species.

"The Motion calls on the government to support the United States' proposal to list the polar bear on Appendix 1 - I hope it does so as soon as possible."

Mark Glover of Respect for Animals, said:

"We very much welcome Mark Hunter MP's support for this very important measure. This situation is extremely serious and the British Government should support efforts to protect polar bears."

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