The Wildlife Alliance of Maine reports that Maine is the last state to allow all three practices of bear baiting, hounding and trapping. Maine is the only state to allow the trapping of bears. Bear baiting is legal in only 12 states.

Wildlife biologists warn at www. that “baiting alters bear behavior by habituating bears to human food, which increases the likelihood of conflicts; baiting grows the bear population by increasing reproductivity and cub survival rates; and baiting could spread disease because bears and other wildlife are concentrated near bait sites.”

The Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife reports at that “Maine’s bear population is increasing following years of low harvest and high cub production … .”

Vote “yes” on the statewide ballot initiative this November to ban the inhumane practices of bear hounding, baiting and trapping, except for research or to protect property and public safety.

Vae Philbrick