Posts Tagged With: laws

The Key to stop Rhino Poaching

In a recent article, a frustrated prosecutor in South Africa made a comparison that rhino poaching cases are treated similarly to shoplifting cases.

Prosecutor Ansie Venter has been working poaching cases in the heart of rhino country for six years. With a high conviction rate, things should be looking up. But instead Venter says “I think it’s still getting busier by the day, but our hands are virtually tied”.

Last December there were 38 poaching cases in the court in just one day in Skukuza!

poached mom rhino with baby near

Rhino poached , her baby orphaned-a familiar scene in South African parks.

South Africa IS the epicenter of the rhino poaching war, but does not have specific legislation designed to address rhino poaching. To say laws need to be strengthened and government needs to become more focused is an understatement. But when the DEA (Department of Environmental Affairs) refuses to even release poaching stats, due to being “too busy”, the incompetence leaves little hope of change from the current party.

In addition to stiffer sentences, Terri Stander, the shadow Deputy Minister of Environmental Affairs, believes this:

Terri Stander

Terri Stander

“I believe there are three key areas (to stop poaching):

1. Intelligence needs to be strengthened to disrupt organised crime syndicates
2. There needs to be a concerted focus on demand reduction campaigns in consumer countries
3. Communities surrounding National Parks need service delivery to create an environment for job creation, but also education/awareness campaigns that renew the lost value of being responsible for SA wildlife.”
A multi-faceted, huge mountain to tackle, but not impossible. There is much at stake with winning this war. As Stander puts it  “I see rhino as the face of all wildlife crime – if we can get it right with the rhino – we can get it right with everything else.”
Categories: Rhino Ramblings | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Big Five Bill

To combat the rapid scourge of wildlife trafficking, the United States has responded with swift action. Twenty of the fifty states have taken the step toward a nationwide ban on ivory trade. An enormous step, considering the US was the second largest ivory market in the world.

Ivory bans March 2015

 

Now New York is seeking to take it a step further. Bill s.4686, better known as the “Africa Big Five” bill, would ban the import, possession, sale or transportation of any of the Big Five (elephant, rhino, lion, leopard, and cape buffalo) in the state. This bill would amend a current law by classifying the Big Five as “foreign game”.

Senator Tony Avella said “The ban eliminates much of the incentive to continue hunting these animals overseas and shipping their remains off to buyers in New York with a high price tag. It is high time New York take a stand against this horrible practice. By passing this legislation we can ensure that New York, which is one of the largest hubs for importation and transport of these animal carcasses, does not become just another contributor to the inhumane trade of the bodies and parts of these animals.”

protect big 5

Senator Avella with Edita Birnkrant, of Friends of Animals.

New York was among the first states to pass the ivory ban. If the Big Five Bill passes, this could lead the way for not just other states, but the world. Stricter laws could give Africa’s big game, as well as other endangered species a fighting chance at a comeback.

YOU can help! Send a quick note to your local representatives and ask them to support Senator Avella and take action in YOUR state! Look up your state senators and representatives here: State senators and representatives.

 

Categories: Good News, Making a Difference, Rhino Ramblings | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

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