The hunters, the guys who like to kill beautiful wild animals in Africa primarily, say that they are doing their bit for wildlife conservation. This is their excuse for killing. This is their justification and it’s all rotten lies. In truth, they do it for their own gratification and to impress their buddies who are equally obsessed with killing.
Tiny amounts of the money goes to conservation
Their argument is that the huge sums of money they pay for the privilege to kill iconic species such as the lion is that is places a value on the animals. They say the money goes into conservation. And they are killing surplus or troublesome animals. Great work guys. But it’s not.
Research tells us that:
- The money paid by sport hunters is very small compared to alternative sources of income from wildlife such as tourism and,
- Little of the trophy hunter’s money filters down into conservation as it is eaten up by corrupt officials, trophy outfitters and foreign agencies.<
Also the basis on which permission is given to hunt these animals – their population size and sustainability – is often manipulated. Kill quotas are set to maximise profits and restrictions on the age of the animals and their location are rarely adhered to. Hunters kill more than their allocated quotas. Also quota systems (allowed kills) are based on theoretical numbers but these numbers are, in practice, varied by what happens in reality due to a lack of enforcement.
Trophy hunting is also inherently cruel. It is completely one-sided and sometimes animals are wounded and not killed cleanly. They suffer a painful, drawn out death. Many hunters say they kill cleanly. They hint that they are in effect euthanising the animal. Once again I have to say that this is lies.
The blindly obvious truth is that trophy hunting, today, is a throwback to the past. It is a relic of the colonial era when hunting of lions and tigers by English toffs was the thing to do. Hundreds of thousands of leopards, tigers and lions were slaughtered during this era. There is no place for it in the modern world. It is clearly out of place. On the one hand conservationists say that the African lion population is declining disastrously and on the other news media tells us that a Minnesota dentist has shot arrows at an iconic lion, Cecil. It’s mad.
Donate to conservation programs
If you asked trophy hunters to donate hard cash to genuine conservation programs such as The Snow Leopard Trust, they would say no. Trophy hunters are not genuine people. They are obsessed with hunting and find ways to release that obsession. If rich trophy hunting Americans were really into wildlife conservation they’d channel their money into excellent conservation organisations rather than shooting the most impressive animals with the biggest tusks or the largest mane. These are not surplus animals. They are the best and when they are killed it destabilises the ecology.
Trophy hunting does not improve wildlife conservation. Don’t believe these rich, bloodthirsty individuals.
Note: My thanks to Dr Mark Jones, head of policy at the Born Free Foundation for providing some detail and for focusing my thoughts on this.