Posts Tagged With: Europe

Cecil’s Final Roar

The killing of Cecil the Lion demonstrated the reality of “Big Five” trophy hunting, and struck a chord with the world’s conscious.

The fact is that trophy hunting is not only legal, but encouraged in countries as a means of making money. As the adage goes “Money Talks”.

With public criticism and disdain for the hunts,  money is undoubtedly the bottom line with the recent decisions of seven major airlines, who declared they will no longer transport animal parts on their flights.  No airline wants to be seen as complicit in the practice.

This is an example of how public opinion and pressure can fuel change. YOUR voice, YOUR choices do have an impact.

This is a major victory, and we commend the following airlines for taking a stand:

thank you airlines

Photo: Lobby for Lions

Categories: Good News, Making a Difference, Rhino Ramblings | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Ivory Trade In our own backyards

Mention wildlife crime and poaching, and the topic generally turns to China, Vietnam and the Asian communities. Their high demand for wildlife in medicinal and mythical remedies seems to be the root of the evil.

Yet while quick to focus on the Eastern part of the globe, we’re missing what’s closer to home. The US is the second largest ivory market in the world. In 2011 a TON of ivory was seized in a single raid in New York alone.

illegal ivory trade in US

by: IFAW (International Fund for Animal Welfare)

 

The Fish and Wildlife Service has about 200 agents across the U.S., and just one  ivory or rhino horn investigation can occupy up to 30 agents and take 18 months. Severely understaffed and in many cases lacking training, the current laws aren’t enforceable. It is estimated for every crate or shipment that is confiscated, at least ten get through.

There is hope with the current trend, as state by state the US is banding together to crack down on selling and possession of ivory and horn. Presently there are 2 states with laws passed, and fourteen states with legislation introduced. But increased funding for staffing at the ports is necessary to carry out these laws.

prince william elephant

Prince William urges EU to take a stronger stance on wildlife laws. Photo: Getty

Europe is also highly culpable. As the worlds biggest exporter of so-called “old” ivory, recent figures indicate the trade is not only alive in  Europe, but growing.  It is estimated there are 25,000 wildlife products dealt in the EU every year.

In 2013 a two-week  Interpol investigation revealed hundreds of ivory items for sale in European countries, conservatively valued at approximately EUR 1,450,000. The internet is a major source for the easy access.

INTERPOL is working closely with international enforcement agencies on shutting down the viral access to wildlife. During an online investigation, they discovered  more than 660 advertisements for ivory on 61 different auction sites, estimated to have a total volume of approximately 4,500 kilograms of ivory. The Project Web report calls for specific e-commerce legislation regulating wildlife trade to be introduced in the EU.

Current laws in all countries need immediate examination, loopholes must be closed and ALL ivory must be banned. Only with global unity can we stop the decimation of our elephants and rhinos, and slow the escalation of wildlife trafficking for other species.

Elephant cartoon

by: Matt Davies

 

 

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Talk Radio Europe Interview

Just last Friday, April 3rd I was asked by the lovely Pippa Jones of Talk Radio Europe to come on her radio show to once again speak about the plight of the rhino and the connection we as humans on this planet have with this beautiful animal.

Please take the time and click on the Radio Mp3 Link below to hear the full interview.  ( you should be able to forward past the commercials and song to get to the interview)  It  starts at about 11 minutes in.   I hope you find it informative.

 

TRE1501

 

pippa_jones

Pippa has  been in producing and presenting her own programmes  for 3 years but Talk Radio was always a medium that inspired her. In no small part because she questions and challenges everything, and her show, Radio Jones, on Talk Radio Europe allows her the opportunity to question guests and experts on an array of hard-hitting issues that otherwise she would not find the answers to. Pippa is passionate about challenging complacency and this is what drives her.

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Latest Reason Legal Trade in Horn Won’t Help Rhinos

While South Africa is still belligerently working to sell legalized rhino horn trade, poachers are working just as hard at wiping out rhinos. What they’re also doing is proving the government wrong.

Aside from the usual arguments of ethics, economics and feasibility, there is a new reason to put this debate to rest.

It is no longer about the horn. Just as other animals used in Traditional Chinese Medicine, the market’s desire is for multiple parts of the rhino. These days demand is for bone marrow and bodily fluids. Baby rhinos are even being killed for their toenails!

The trend is evident in poaching incidents where limbs, ears and eyes are now found removed.

According to Wildlife and Environment Society of South Africa (Wessa) governance programme manager Morgan Griffiths,

“The exact same thing happened years ago with elephant poaching. These highly lucrative criminal syndicates opened several markets for the byproducts.”

Poaching is a risky business, so the syndicates are taking full advantage by creating demand for ALL of the rhino, leading to increased value and a higher incidence of poaching.

Legal trade in horn would do nothing to slow or stem this new bloodshed, as it’s not just the horn they want. So it’s time to put the debate to rest. Focus on actions like education, penalties, and protection.

rhinos dan kittwood

White rhinos by: Dan Kittwood/Getty

 

 

 

 

 

Categories: Rhino Ramblings | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Make it Count

The latest  photo causing a stir on the internet is an elite cheerleader with a “Let’s go, Let’s win!” smile plastered to her face. Except instead of pom-pons in her hand she’d holding a gun and standing over the body of a rhino.

She is one of many well-to-do Americans and Europeans whose hobby consists of bloodshed of African wildlife: trophy hunting. The $200 million dollar industry operates in 14 African countries, with South Africa being the largest.

Although disturbing to look at, it is not illegal. The current global laws in the US and Europe allow trophies to be imported into the country, following some guidelines.

Yet over 150,000 people have signed a petition to have her photos removed. Before her it was Melissa Bachman and Corey Knowlton. Assuming the photos ARE removed, what does that change?

Although public concern is welcome, why are we singling these people out? Why give them the attention? They are participating in a Legal activity. Outrage and energy are being misdirected.

Sign petitions and write letters to change laws, not people. If a fraction of those signatures on a photo removal could be directed to the US Fish and Wildlife Service, it COULD make an impact.

Director Daniel M Ashe: Ban Endangered African Animal Trophy Imports From Namibia

Ban Breeding, Trading, and Trophy Hunting of Wildlife in South Africa

Ban Lion Trophy Imports into the US

Globally United Against Trophies into EU and US (on facebook)

Let’s focus and work together to stop the machine, not just it’s parts.

sos

 

 

 

 

 

 

Categories: Rhino Ramblings | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

On the menu: Bushmeat

What is the Bushmeat Crisis?

Bushmeat is the term used to describe any wild animal used for food, living in the “bush”. It is most common in reference to the area of Western and Central Africa. This can be apes, lemurs, rhino, elephant, antelope,etc.

endangered lemurs killed for bush in mada

Endangered lemurs in Madagascar killed for bushmeat.

Today bushmeat is important both as a food source and a trade item for poor families in rural and urban areas in Western and Central Africa. It is also often a status symbol for urban elites trying to retain links to the “village”, and often commands a high price in city restaurants.

The commercial bushmeat trade is in direct competition and threatens the livelihoods of rural communities dependent on these resources to meet their basic needs.

“People in the Congo Basin eat as much meat as do Europeans and Americans; approximately 80% of animal protein is derived from wildlife.”

While wildlife has been hunted and used for food since the beginning of time, things have changed considerably. The population density in these areas is greater than the animal population, in addition, factoring in the number of threatened and endangered species, the wildlife can no longer be viewed as a free, sustainable resource.

forestry road

Forestry road through Gabon.

The Logging Industry’s contribution

The growing problem of the bushmeat industry is exacerbated by the construction of new roads to facilitate logging and mining operations, allowing poachers easy access to remote forests. Truck drivers also get involved, as they are routinely bribed into carrying loads of up to 200kg of bushmeat, including gorillas and chimpanzees, out of the forests.

Why not raise cow, chickens and goats?

Domestic “farm” animals are raised in the rural and urban households, but they are viewed as savings and insurance, since inflation is high and access to banks or credit is extremely limited. Even if they wanted to use their animals for a protein source, the area is plagued by tsetse flies which cause the disease, animal trypanosomiasis, making it unfeasible.

Of course hunting in the short-term yields immediate benefits, yet in the long run, this damages their economies in the future.

What does this mean for the environment?

While deforestation is also a  threat to wildlife, over hunting is comparable, if not  worse to the Western and Central African areas. Even in places where there is intact forests, there are no large animals, This is known as Empty Forest Syndrome.

     “Experts estimate that the bushmeat trade could eliminate all viable populations of African apes       within the next five to 15 years.”

Loss of wildlife means a loss of seed dispersing animals that play a key role in determining tree composition and distribution. Over time this will potentially cause irreversible global damage.

Human health jeopardy

gorilla hands

Gorilla hands are considered a delicacy in the Congo.

In addition to environmental and economic consequence, the increased contact between humans and wildlife populations raises the risk of people transmitting animal-derived diseases. Consumption of bushmeat has been linked to zoonoses, including anthrax, ebola, monkeypox, HIV, SARS and foot and mouth disease. Additionally, there is also risk of transmitting human diseases to apes and other species.

Global Concerns

Not just an African issue, thousands of pounds of primate parts, antelope, and other bushmeat are smuggled annually into the United States and Europe. The environmental concerns, the health risks and the responsibility are ours to share. From Lion meat tacos in Florida to  Rat meat in London it’s becoming a black market pandemic.

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Categories: Rhino Ramblings | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

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