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Animal Protection League of New Jersey brings lawsuit to stop the bear hunt

When I told an out of state friend that the New Jersey black bears got a lawyer, she asked if they were some kind of sports team.  I had to explain the long standing controversy over the bear hunt and the bear hunt policy, both of which were declared illegal in a unanimous decision by the NY Apellate Division in 2007. Lawyers will show that both integrity and science are missing from the basis of the bear hunting policy. The following is reproduced with the permission of the Animal Protection League of New Jersey.

Oral arguments in our lawsuit against the State’s Comprehensive Black Bear Management Policy (CBBMP) is scheduled for November 29, at 9:30am, 5th floor, north wing of the Hughes Justice Complex, 25 Market Street, Trenton.

Although last year’s motion to stop the hunt was denied, the lawsuit still challenges the CBBMP, which is a 5-year policy.

Our motion to accelerate the appeal was granted, which means that the court will have a decision before December 5. If the court rules in our favor, the hunt will be called off. If not, we will continue to press for permanent bear protection.

While this is not a forum to speak, we do encourage you to attend to hear our argument and see the process. If you’d like to attend, call the court at 609-633-7079 or 609-633-7078 and ask about Docket #A-001603-10T02 to confirm date and time, as the schedule could change.

To read our brief, click here.

The following is our media release for the case and our upcoming oral argument.


For Immediate Release


November 21, 2011
Contact: Doris Lin, Esq.
A lawsuit filed last year by the Animal Protection League of NJ (APLNJ) and The Bear Education and Resource Group (The BEAR Group) will finally be decided by the NJ Appellate Division before the scheduled start of the 2011 NJ bear hunt on December 5.
An order granting a motion by the animal protection groups means that In the Matter of the Adoption of the Comprehensive Black Bear Management Policy, docket number A-1603-T2, will have oral argument in Trenton on November 29 at 9:30 am at the Hughes Justice Complex. The court will decide the case by December 5. The groups challenge the adoption of the Policy based on both the science and the procedures used to adopt the policy. 

Doris Lin, Esq., Director of Legal Services for APLNJ and Vice President of Legal Affairs for The BEAR Group explains, “The black bear policy is full of scientific flaws, self-contradictions and outright fabrications. The lawsuit is not about philosophical objections to hunting; it’s about integrity and science, both of which are missing from the policy.”

“For example, Professor Edward Tavss of Rutgers University proved that bear complaints are actually going down. The Division’s claims that bear complaints have increased are based on increasing the number of police departments included in the data in recent years, not an actual increase in the number of complaints. Even the Fish and Game Council admits that the data should not be compared to previous years.”

The lawsuit was filed last year in response to the adoption of the Policy, and while the animal protection groups lost their motion to try to stop the 2010 bear hunt, the lawsuit continued on the merits.

The state’s 2005 comprehensive black bear policy and 2005 bear hunt were both declared illegal in a unanimous opinion from the NJ Appellate Division in 2007.

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