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Animal rights counsel forced to admit bear hunting a viable option

Under intense grilling by a New Jersey Appeals Court on December 2, a lawyer representing animal rights extremist groups was forced to admit that bear hunting is a viable option to control bear population, contradicting his clients' longstanding position that New Jersey's bear hunt is nothing more than a trophy hunt.

The stunning admission was made during oral argument of a last-minute appeal of DEP Commissioner Bradley Campbell's decision authorizing the bear hunt to proceed. Appearing before a three judge panel of the Appellate Division, Attorney Kevin Barber conceded on behalf of the Bear Education and Resource Group and the New Jersey Animal Rights Alliance that bear hunting is one of several viable tools available to control bear population.

The hearing was made available for public viewing via a live webcast. At one point during oral argument, Mr. Barber began to make reference to New Jersey's "bear problem," but he quickly corrected himself. His clients have repeatedly tried to perpetuate the myth that New Jersey has no bear problem.

The Appellate Division denied the appeal, thereby allowing the second bear hunt in 35 years to proceed December 5-10. The Court's written opinion makes special reference to attorney Barber's admission, stating, "appellants conceded that a hunt is a viable control technique."

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