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American Blood Dollars Destroy African Wildlife

By Chris Mercer  Posted by Georgianne Nienaber (about the submitter)       (Page 1 of 2 pages)     Permalink    (# of views)   No comments

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Behind a carefully-crafted façade of “conservation,” American trophy hunters are destroying our African wildlife heritage. Chucking a few dollars at local landowners in order to pillage our wildlife heritage is not conservation, it is colonialism. When organisations such as Safari Club International in U.S.A. patronise this industry, they export US dollars and colonialism to Africa, and they import misery and bloodshed in the form of trophies. Their dollars are a corrupting influence in the third world, perverting conservation policies away from preservation towards the cruel exploitation of wildlife. They manipulate foreign aid to their own ends, making USAID a major threat to the African environment. And they use their blood dollars to lobby for loopholes in wildlife legislation. See the new South African hunting legislation, which demonstrates the lobbying power of blood dollars in vulnerable African countries.

ETHICAL HUNTING - SOUTH AFRICAN STYLE

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Let’s examine a few sections of the new canned hunting regulations, which come into effect on 1st June, to see how they will improve hunting practices in this Paradise for hunters, South Africa. The quoted regulations are in Italics. Environment Minister Marthinus van Schalkwyk says he has “banned canned hunting.” His boast has been uncritically reported by some journalists. Read the sections below and judge for yourself.

24. (1) prohibits the hunting of a listed large predator, as well as rhinoceros by making use of a gin trap;

This means that, from 1st June 2007, you will no longer be permitted to restrain a rhino or large predator by means of a gin trap. You can continue to use a gin trap on all other species, such as elephant, buffalo and hippo, as well as exotic species such as tigers. The use of gin traps, banned in over ninety countries because of the extreme, indiscriminate cruelty involved, is a favoured instrument of South African conservationists, and so its use is not being banned, merely “regulated.” (A gin trap is a mechanical spring trap with or without serrated teeth. It crushes and holds.)

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You may no longer from 1st June, 2007, shoot lions in their cages. If you cannot live without killing lions, you can turn them out into a fenced camp, which has a few springbok grazing in it, let them grow out into huntable size for two years, and then kill them. In the words of the regulations, you can hunt a lion: which –

(a) has been rehabilitated in an extensive wildlife system; and

(b) has been fending for itself in an extensive wildlife system for at least twenty four months.

What is an “extensive wildlife system?” Here it is:

An “extensive wildlife system” means a system that is large enough, and suitable for the management of self-sustaining wildlife populations in a natural environment which requires minimal human intervention…

As you see there is no minimum size for the hunting camp. 50, 500 or 5000 acres, it does not specify. And guess who is responsible for such a vaguely-drafted loophole? Yes, how did you guess - hunting industry lobbyists.

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FAIR CHASE

(b) listed threatened or protected species may not be hunted by luring it, by means of bait, except in the case of lions, leopards and hyena, where dead bait may be used;

Hey, what happened to fair chase? The new regulations allow you to drag a carcass around the hunting camp, and then hide and wait at the carcass for lions, leopards and hyena to show up. If this is not canned hunting, then what is? Oh yes, and you can still kill leopards and hyena for fun by first blinding them with a dazzling light:

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Georgianne Nienaber is an investigative environmental and political writer. She lives in rural northern Minnesota and South Florida. Her articles have appeared in The Society of Professional Journalists' Online Quill Magazine, the Huffington (more...)
 

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