A state appeals court ruled that New Jersey's black bear hunt can go on as scheduled starting Monday.

The panel on Thursday turned down a challenge by two animal rights groups that said the state's bear management policy was flawed.

The court determined the state properly developed the plan. Doris Lin, a lawyer for the activists, says an appeal will be filed with the state Supreme Court.

The state maintains the hunt in needed to keep the black bear population in check.

Last year's hunt was the first in five years and 592 bears were killed.  A similar legal challenge succeeded in 2007 and no hunt was held after a court found flaws with the management policy. That court said the 2005 hunt should not have taken place.

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