THE HUNTERS DESTROYING AFRICAN WILDLIFE – AND THE WOMEN OUT TO STOP THEM.
The grim photo opposite of canned lions in transport, which was taken on the N1 highway near Bloemfontein, betrays the ugly reality behind the doctrine of sustainable use, and we ask the question: who is doing anything to stop this routine abuse of captive wildlife?
We know who the villains are: trophy hunters who have been accurately described as ‘monsters of death and destruction’. Corporate power in USA is awesome. The US hunting fraternity commands disproportionate political power through social connections and economic interests such as the N.R.A.(National Rifle Association.)
How does this affect African Wildlife?
Hunters use their power to conceive, promote and then impose hunter friendly policies on international conservation bodies such as IUCN and CITES. Those policies are then rammed into Africa by pro-hunting NGOs like WWF, and finally adopted by African conservation authorities as ‘official.’
Take the Policy of Sustainable Use, a hunter-friendly policy which is a substitute for real conservation, and slyly excludes considerations of animal welfare and cruelty from the conservation agenda. Licenced by the official policy of ‘wise use’ trophy hunters are free to asset-strip African wildlife.
Paralysed by the doctrine of sustainable use, and indoctrinated by a constant stream of hunting propaganda from full time in-house public relations companies, vulnerable third world conservation structures are overwhelmed.
The consequences are catastrophic. Take the effect on elephants. The second largest elephant herd in the world in the Selous Game Reserve in Tanzania has been reduced by two-thirds in the space of 4 short years. This has happened on land ‘protected’ by hunting concessions, and the predictable reaction of US hunters to this plunge towards regional extinction has been to continue killing elephants, thus contributing to the mayhem.
The plight of the African lion is even worse than that of elephant and Rhino. Canned lion hunting in South Africa is one cause of a catastrophic decline of wild lion populations. All explained in our 2014 Presentation video:
The African lion is heading for extinction.
So what stands between African wild animals and extinction? Most people labour under the misapprehension that it is the big established NGOs like WWF.
Unfortunately, nothing could be further from the truth: WWF and other big conservation NGOs are owned and controlled by the hunting industry. No, the surprising answer is: only the animal welfare movement, comprising mainly women. These are the real heroes (heroines?)
It is the international group of volunteer women activists who are the real strength of the animal welfare movement. Take the Global March for Lions.
On March 15th 2014, an unprecedented 62 marches took place in 62 cities around the world. This was a grass roots initiative inspired by, and organised almost entirely by, women. CACH directors Chris Mercer and Beverley Pervan provided education on the complex issues around hunting, but virtually all the organising and hard work was done by the women.
Many of the main organisers are highly astute career women. (Now guys, you are doing a great job, but we are sadly outnumbered.)
On another note, a popular woman's fashion magazine in SA, Fairlady, featured the canned hunting issue for the very first time in an article in the April issue. The article 'The great Hunting Debate' was a two page editorial featuring Bev Pervan of CACH and a hunter, Peter Flack. Mr. Flack managed to sum it up very nicely for us. He writes "There is no 'enjoyment' in killing. Only a psychopath would say such a thing." So in short we have a whole bunch of psychopaths running around with guns killing innocent wildlife. Our feelings entirely.
So here is a salute to the unsung heroes of the animal welfare community – the wonderful, courageous, dedicated women who sacrifice so much in order to protect animals.