Former Price is Right game show host Bob Barker says the price of spring bear hunt is just too high.
The American TV icon enters the debate surrounding a renewed spring bear hunt in Ontario shortly after the Ministry of Natural Resources opened the pilot project up to public comment.
Barker is issuing a plea to Premier Kathleen Wynne and her cabinet to stop the proposed hunt.
“I am appalled to think of the bears being killed and the (orphaned) cubs being allowed to starve to death,” he said during a telephone interview with TBT News Wednesday afternoon. “How uncivilized can something be?”
Barker is a longtime animal rights advocate who was well known for his message to Price is Rights viewers encouraging them to help control the pet population by having their pets spay or neutered.
Following his departure from the show, Barker made headlines in Canada when he aimed his lobby efforts toward the Toronto Zoo, arguing that the climate of that zoo made it a poor home for its elephants.
Now Barker is calling on Ontario residents to petition the government to stop the return of the spring bear hunt, which was cancelled in 1999. Barker joined the lobby efforts against the spring bear hunt after being contacted by officials from Zoocheck Canada.
“This solution is totally unacceptable,” Barker said, responding to concerns that bear and human confrontations were on the rise in the absence of a spring hunt.
“Let me point out that the Ministry’s own bear biologist has indicated the the number of human to bear interactions has not increased since the spring bear hunt was cancelled in 1999.”
Barker added that if nuisance bears are becoming a problem in Northern Ontario, than the MNR should instead focus its efforts on issuing fines to residents who continue to leave food sources outside of their homes, like garbage and dirty barbecues.
Meanwhile Ontario’s Natural Resources Minister David Orazietti disputes Barker's claims and said he doesn't know where the California resident is getting his facts.