Hi Heather! This is an interesting debate. I would be happy to try and articulate my dislike for this petition.
First, this petition truly pulls on your heartstrings and gets your blood boiling. It certainly gets me upset to see and hear about these magnificent animals being slaughtered and poached. Whatever the reasons are(for these great animals being poached) for horns, hide or pictures ect...it doesn't matter. There is nothing worse then a poacher when it comes to wildlife in my mind.
The author clearly makes this petition about the slaughter and poaching of these amazing animals. I completely agree, this activity should and needs to stop. The facts the author states about poaching are most likely spot on regarding the rhino, although they fail to tell us about all the other species that are being poached and killed in Africa. For example, Elephant poaching is horrendous and I'm sure thousands more species die each year by the hands of these sick people.
The author clearly states a very valid argument and immediately gets almost anyone engaged. However, when the author presents the solution, to petition an airline to not allow any animal from Africa aboard no matter where and how it comes from....they lost me right there.
I consider myself a compassionate and critical thinker and I have a true passion for conserving wildlife and wildlife habitat. Arguments like this need real solutions and not blanket solutions that don't address the issue.
Whether you are for trophy hunting or against it, the issue is about poaching these amazing animals to near extinction. The author does not acknowledge or even try to argue that hunting is bad or a detriment to these animals. Instead, they lure us with the gory details of poaching and how these animals have been driven to near extinction.
The fact is that these beautiful animals are being killed and slaughtered by people that don't value their existence. Whether you agree with trophy hunting or not, trophy hunters provide more money in Africa to anti-poaching, wildlife and habitat conservation than any animal protection group out there. In fact, last year, some guy spent over $400k to hunt a specific rhino that was past his breeding prime and where most of those funds went to anti-poaching efforts in Africa. I know of others that have gone and spent other significant dollars for other species. Most if not all that money is spent in conservation efforts and all the meat is used by local communities. By the way, I have never been to Africa and have no plans to do so. But since I'm heavily involved with wildlife and wildlife habitat conservation here in North America, I see the positive impact these highly regulated hunts have. In fact hunters dollars are responsible for not only the existence of numerous species in North America, but several near extinction species in Africa.
If these countries in Africa regulate their quotas to insure a sustainable balance of species, they bring tremendous value to those animals. Like most animal lovers, I want to see animals and species thrive and never get close to extinction. Whether you like hunting or not, these folks going to Africa bring value to those animals and provide enormous resources to those countries to help insure the survival of Africa's great animals.
Signing a petition like this doesn't address the issue. I'm aware that Africa has in recent decades adopted wildlife management plans that highly regulate the harvest of almost every species. They have strict export laws. In fact, the US has extremely strict import laws for almost any animal but especially animals from Africa. In my mind what this petition would do is discourage these trophy hunters from spending their money in Africa. Which in turn, de-values these great animals. And as this petition clearly points out, when an animal doesn't have any value, the poaching and slaughter begins. Well documented cases from numerous African countries, have sighted trapping, torture, shooting and poisoning of these wonderful species. It's sickening!
Again, whether you are pro or anti hunting, the fact is that the value trophy hunters bring to these animals is important. They spend a tremendous amount of money for the opportunity to hunt these animals legally. These hunts are highly regulated by local, country and international groups with very strict import and export laws. If this petition was to prompt an airline to stop carrying these legally harvested animals, these folks would either have to find another airline to fly or keep their money in the bank. Either way, these animals will not be better off with a ban like this. The savages killing these animals will only continue to kill and the money for conservation and anti poaching efforts will dry up. Then if our children are lucky, they might get to see one of the great creatures in a zoo somewhere. But will almost certainly never see or hear about one in the wild.
So before emotions take over with this subject, think about the whole picture. These animals are not endangered, in fact most of the species in Africa have populations significantly higher than 30yrs ago. The one exception is the rhino, where poaching has driven these animals to near extinction.
Are there other ways to conserve these great animals? Sure, but nothing is in place that can compete with the value of trophy hunting. Maybe we'll get there someday but whatever we do, we must ensure these wonderful animals have value. This petition does nothing to protect the wildlife. It will only criminalize those that legally harvest one of these magnificent animals.
I was on Capitol Hill on Thursday lobbying for your rights as a "hunter conservationist" and can tell you that congress is very easily swayed but a largely supported petition.
It takes organizations like the NRA, SCI and Conservation Force to battle them where it counts!!
If you are not member.... Go sign up today for $35 as a new member.
And YES... SCI cares about more then Africa trophies.... Ask people who are still hunting bears in Maine.
"This article is very misleading. South African Airways is NOT trying to stop trophy hunting. What happened was a container was marked “machinery parts” but contained poached elephant tusks. The crate was confiscated in Australia. Unfortunately, South African Airways overreacted and banned ALL elephant, rhino , tiger and lion trophies whether obtained legally or not. Not surprisingly the anti-hunting brigade was quick to try and get some mileage out of this."
We live in a day where the hunting enemies are very recognizable. One of the best ways that I know how to fight them is thru organized efforts such as SCI, DSC, HSC, NRA, & P&Y. Even though I might not always agree with 100% with these organizations positions, I have to look at the common good of these organizations to fight for hunter rights in today's environment of anti-hunting, anti- gun, anti-etc. I have to remember that I don't always agree 100% of the time with my wife !!!
I heard they had received multiple trophy shipments that were not cleaned well and there were multiple instances of bugs on the plane. The cleaning was costing them money and in turn they decided to no longer ship these type shipments.
Hunter advocacy is one of those things that sound easy but is beyond difficult.
Think about how the NRA battles the anti-gun crowd...they do it with numbers!! SCI only has about 50,000 members.
How many people would be in the US would be upset and looking for help in regaining their hunting rights if they were taken away?? My guess is WAY more then 50,000
It seems that the hunting community needs to lose a major battle, on home turf, before they wake up. If elk hunting was shut down across the US and wolves were fully protected by Federal Law....how many would be looking for SCI to help?
People need to join NOW and begin to support where it counts.
Just remember... There will be no RMEF, QDMA, Pheasants Forever, P&Y, WSF, or Ducks Unlimited if there is no hunting in US.
That's less than I expect to see actually, about .0001% of our population, I know there are WAY more idiots running around this country than that!
Delta Airlines is not accepting the invitation to the PETA Party.