TRENTON, N.J. (CBSNewYork/AP) — The fight to stop New Jersey’s upcoming bear hunt returns to court Tuesday.

An appeals panel is being asked to stop the annual black bear hunt, which is set to begin next week.

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Animal activists say New Jersey’s Comprehensive Black Bear Management Policy, which includes the annual hunt, is flawed.

“The black bear policy is full of scientific flaws, self-contradictions and outright fabrications,” said Doris Lin, director of legal services for the Bear Education and Resource Group. “The lawsuit is not about philosophical objections to hunting; it’s about integrity and science, both of which are missing from the policy.”

The state says the hunt is needed to control the black bear population. Hunters killed 592 black bears last year, the first hunt the state’s held in five years.

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Bears have been spotted in 19 of the state’s 21 counties this year.

Besides a hunt, the Comprehensive Black Bear Management Policy developed by the Division of Fish and Wildlife includes education, a bear feeding ban and aversive conditioning.

The six-day hunt is scheduled to begin Monday.

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