MEDIA RELEASE: Activists Urge Support for Bill to Stop Black Bear Killings in North Carolina Sanctuaries

MEDIA RELEASE: Activists Urge Support for Bill to Stop Black Bear Killings in North Carolina Sanctuaries

RALEIGH, N.C. (June 3, 2022)In Defense of Animals welcomes a new bill intended to block a recent rule that would allow black bear killings in three North Carolina bear sanctuaries. Thousands contacted legislators, asking them to stop the controversial plans, including over 300 In Defense of Animals supporters.

Rep. Pricey Harrison, who represents the Greensboro area, introduced House Bill 1072: Prohibit Killing Bears in Bear Sanctuaries, which aims to stop the plans. 

She told Smoky Mountain News, “I filed it because I think the rule is just a terrible rule. It just doesn’t make any sense to me that we’d be killing bears in bear sanctuaries. I received a lot of comments on it, and I know folks are really upset about it.”

The N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission's rule aims to rename the state’s 22 bear sanctuaries as “designated bear management units” and would allow the hunting of black bears in Panthertown, Pisgah, and Standing Indian sanctuaries. Mt. Mitchell and Daniel Boone sanctuaries already allow permit hunts. 

This rule would have seen black bears callously gunned down by hunters and viciously ripped apart by hunting dogs in their natural habitats. It would also have negatively impacted the economy since 45,000 small businesses rely on tourists to North Carolina, many of whom come to enjoy wildlife watching.

“We are thrilled that Rep. Harrison has introduced a bill that aims to stop the outrageous and shortsighted plans to kill black bears in sanctuaries,” said Julie Massa, Wild Animals Campaigner for In Defense of Animals. “Hundreds of our North Carolina supporters are horrified by the plans to kill these iconic animals who have lived here for generations and deserve protection. There is no need to kill bears since they self-regulate their breeding and naturally balance their populations. We urge everyone to contact their legislators to support the bill and save North Carolina’s iconic black bears.”

Simple precautions can be taken to keep black bears away from residential areas, such as securing all trash in stationary, locked bins, and avoiding keeping trash outdoors overnight. Bird feed, and dog and cat food should be kept indoors, and grills should be thoroughly cleaned immediately after use.

North Carolina residents are urged to register their support to save North Carolina’s black bears:

Learn more about:


Contact: Julie Massa,, 415-448-0048 x232


In Defense of Animals is an international animal protection organization based in Marin County, California, with over 250,000 supporters and a 39-year history of fighting for animals, people, and the environment through education and campaigns, as well as hands-on rescue facilities in India, South Korea, and rural Mississippi.


 ### ENDS ###

You can support our work by donating