Vae Philbrick’s letter in your July 18 edition is titled “referendum to ban inhumane bear hunting.” Although she supports a ban on hunting, she uses what she terms cruel baiting practices to support her position.

This outlines the entire strategy — to ban all types of hunting everywhere — of the two groups mentioned, The Humane Society of the United States and Ban Cruel Traps, by using the act of baiting to support their agenda.

Ban Cruel Traps in an organization grown out of Born Free, which is based in the United Kingdom and operates throughout Europe. Shouldn’t this make one ask what its expertise in conservation is as it relates to bear hunting and trapping in the United States? The answer is that, like The Humane Society of the United States, it simply has a goal to ignore good conservation practices and science altogether and ban hunting everywhere.

Maine’s game wardens and wildlife biologists are opposed to this referendum. Maine’s nationally recognized bear management program is research-based and directed by two of the most respected bear biologists in the country.

I believe the people of Maine should rely on the solid science and sound conservation practices that are administered by our own professionals and vote no on the bear referendum in November. Let the emotionally based special interest groups take their agenda somewhere else.

Gary Hilliard


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