Last week the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service quietly dropped its efforts to push for an international ban on the trade in polar bear parts.
The move to do so was heavily criticized and opposed by Inuit and the Canadian government.
Natan Obed, head of the national Inuit group Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami said of the US’s decision, "This is a very good thing for Inuit. It's great to see that other countries are taking a step back and respecting science on the issue rather than other interests that have more to do with people's perception.''
The U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service listed polar bears as a threatened species under the Endangered Species Act in 2008 and immediately stopped the importation of polar bear trophies as called for by the Marine Mammal Protection Act.
This move was heavily criticized by pro-hunting groups which claimed the listing was done on an emotional basis rather than science.