Frequently Asked Questions

Q: When can I have my product tested?

A: Captive bear testing occurs between April 1st and November 31st and field testing of toxicant delivery devices takes place between May 15th through November 15th. Dates may deviate a little based on timing of bears denning and level of bear activity.

Q: Is there a fee for having products tested with black bears?

A: Yes. The testing fee depends on the product type being tested. Please see the Fee Schedule for more information.

Q: Where does black bear product testing taking place?

A: Captive bear testing takes place at approved zoos or wildlife sanctuaries. Facilities currently approved for testing are listed here. Field testing of Toxicant Delivery Devices occurs at pre-selected locations in the Southeastern United States. Please contact the Testing Coordinator for more information.

Q: What is the difference between this testing program and the testing program for grizzly bears in Montana?

A: The grizzly bear testing program utilizes captive grizzlies in Montana to test products through theInteragency Grizzly Bear Committee’s (IGBC) Bear-Resistant Products Testing Program and uses a slightly different testing protocol (there isn’t any field testing with the IGBC testing program). Please visit the IGBC website for more information on the IGBC testing program.

Q: Why should I submit my product(s) for testing with black bears if I have already had them tested with grizzly bears?

A: Wildlife professionals do not know if there is a difference in the way black bears and grizzly bears access bear-resistant products. As more areas with black bears require bear-resistant products, an increasing number of authorities may consider requiring products that are tested by black bears through the Black Bear-Resistant Product Testing Program.

Q: Does the black bear testing program have the same requirements for a “Pass” testing result as the grizzly bear testing program?

A: The requirements to “pass” under the Black-Bear-Resistant Product Testing Program are similar. However, the black bear testing program also includes a way to test products designed to deliver toxicants to feral pigs. Testing of these products occurs in the field rather than with black bears in zoos.

Q: Does a “Pass” testing result under the Black Bear-Resistant Product Testing Program’s current protocol mean that products are certified or approved for use on any lands where food storage regulations exist?

A: No. Passing the Black-Bear-Resistant Product Testing Program does not imply certification or approval for use anywhere. Always check with the appropriate land management authority (i.e., public land management agency like the National Park Service or the U.S. Forest Service; homeowner’s association, city, town or county) to see what they require before you visit the area.

Q: Does a “Pass” testing result under the Black Bear-Resistant Product Testing Program’s current protocol mean that products are certified as bear-proof?

A: No. Any product can be susceptible to failure by a determined black bear. Passing the Black Bear-Resistant Product Testing Program simply indicates that the product has been exposed to black bears for a sufficient amount of time to demonstrate that bears are unlikely to open or gain access to the contents of the product.

Q: Does the certification of a Toxicant Delivery Device under the Black-Bear-Resistant Product Testing Program mean that only the target species for the toxicant (most often feral pigs) are the only species that can gain access to the toxicant?

A: No. Any product can be susceptible to failure when manipulated by a black bear or other wildlife species. The certification simply indicates that the product has been exposed to black bears, feral pigs, and other wildlife species for a sufficient amount of time to demonstrate that bears and other non-target wildlife are unlikely to open or gain access to the contents of the product. WMI and SEAFWA make no guarantees that products certified as Toxicant Delivery Devices under this program will not in any way harm or kill other non-target wildlife species.