Although climate change threatens their survival, hundreds of polar bears are still killed for their skins and as hunting trophies. Norway is the world's second largest importer of polar bear skins after China. Right now, the Norwegian government is considering whether to ban the import of polar bear skins from Canada, the only country that still permits their export. Please give polar bears a voice and let Norway know that polar bears should be protected and that putting an end to skin imports is the logical and right thing to do.
Despite having protected its own polar bears from any kind of hunting since 1973, Norway imported the furs of 1,104 polar bears between 1990 and 2015. That's over 40 dead bears a year on average.
In December 2019, our polar bear technical advisor, Norwegian Ole J Liodden, first lifted the lid on the escalating threat of international trade in polar bear skins. Norwegian government scientists subsequently looked into the issue and concluded that International trade in polar bear products could threaten the species´ survivability. Their assessment exposed that essential information needed to determine whether polar bear kills in Canada are sustainable is often missing, being withheld, vastly out of date or highly unreliable. This was the first time that a government report expressed such concerns. In the wake of these findings, Norway is considering a ban on the import of polar bear skins. It is the first European country to do so. If Norway follows through, this will also send a powerful message to other countries that import polar bears skins and trophies.
You may well have thought that the world's last 26,000 polar bears are protected. But almost 53,500 polar bears were killed for their fur and as trophies between 1963 and 2016. That's more than twice as many as are alive today. We are fighting to end all international trade in polar bear skins and hunting trophies, because it is the most important conservation action, we can take for polar bears right now. Sorting out climate change is a much longer journey. This has become even more pressing, because the Inuit communities, which have authority over around 90% of Canada's polar bears, believe that there are too many and want to actively reduce polar bear populations!