Hunting as an aid to conservation ?

Trophy hunting has often been cited as a way of making wildlife “pay its way” and therefore aid conservation but is this really thought through ? Why should wildlife “pay its way” after all does everything in the world we wish to preserve pay its way ? What about other natural wonders, mountains, waterfalls and human made monuments, buildings art work ? Do they all make a profit ? Come to think about it what about humans that don’t make a profit ( most people retire in the developed economies from that point they are a net loss do we make them pay or else !)

Ok lets assume we ignore the moral argument and say “tough” animals that have been on the planet for millions of years must pay their way for an animal (us) that has been around for 250 thousand years.

So just from a pure logical solution should individuals that feel the need, and have the money, be allowed to shoot some of the animals and a portion of that money help look after the ones which don’t get shot ? Would it or does it work ?

Well I and many others think no and for a number of reasons. 

  1. The first one is a bit obvious and really makes the others a bit redundant. It hasn’t worked. Hunting and trophy hunting exists in many areas in Africa yet all those hunted species have declined. There is no population booms of Lions in the Selous in Southern Tanzania, take a look here , where hunting is allowed in around 80% of the reserve.
  2. Ok so lets pretend you ignore the above or you are just checking the other reasons. Hunting is selective but in entirely the opposite direction of natural selection. Trophy hunters look for trophies ( hence the name !). They look for the biggest horns, heads, manes and tusks. Therefore they pick off the fittest animals, the animals that are dominant within their group. This causes conflict ( leading to more deaths) and the removal of the fittest ( as opposed to the survival of the fittest. To read more about this take a look here

AN ORPHAN ELEPHANT BEING SHELTERED BY HIS KEEPER FROM THE SUN WITH AN UMBRELLA.
DAPHNE SHELDRICK RUN THE WORLDS OLDEST ELEPHANT ORPHANAGE, WHERE ELEPHANTS ARE EVENTUALLY RELEASED BACK INTO THE WILD. . THEY HAVE TO CARE FOR THE ORPHANS AROUND THE CLOCK, HAVE TO BOTTLE FEED THEM REGULARLY AND THEIR KEEPERS SLEEP WITH THEM AT NIGHT.   Please visit the Sheldrick foundation to see how you can help

3. Still not convinced by the facts well read on. If you kill an animal for a trophy it is generally going to be a large mammal and will have a social role. Mother, pack leader, hunter and so on. So a single shot can leave an orphan, orphans and or an undefended pack/herd/pride so that one shot kills more than one animal. How brave does that hunter look now knowing they will be causing the death of other unprotected animals, usually young, due to their brief ego fix ?

4. Finally do you honestly think that a large amount of the money ends up going back into conservation from the company that runs a hunting operation ? Don’t take their word look at their company accounts.

So if you are at a dinner party or in a bar and somebody attempts to justify their hunting trip try running these points past them. If they still go on about the “rush”of shooting an unarmed animal with a high velocity rifle then perhaps it’s a good time to change dinner guests or the bar where you drink.

What does Brexit hold for animal welfare ?

LEOPARD (PANTHERA PARDUS) .MALA MALA GAME RESERVE.KRUGER NATIONAL PARK.SOUTH AFRICA.
PICTURE:GARY ROBERTS

What does Brexit hold for animal welfare , conservation and the animals we farm to eat ? For anybody interested in conservation and the food we eat this should be a pressing issue. As the day approaches and Britain becomes more and more pressed to do deals with the non EU countries such as China, India and the USA will the UK have to sacrifice it’s own standards in order to secure trade deals ?

Over Britain’s 42-year political relationship with Europe 44 EU laws have come into force concerning animals, but only 13 of these have been implemented into existing UK legislation. That means the majority will not apply post Brexit.  Most of these cover farm animals and have set standards over how farm animals are produced, transported and slaughtered in addition to covering matters of animal research and wildlife. If the UK were to take no action prior to our departure from the EU, these laws would cease to apply.

International treaties are seen by some as a life jacket against the loss of crucial regulation with the UK party to a number of major treaties many of which deal with animal welfare.  However, in many cases EU law is more detailed than EU treaties and as a result more stringent, in comparison to treaties which are often vaguely worded and built on negotiation and compromise between nations. As a result, if the UK was to solely rely on treaties such as CITES we would see a reduction in animal welfare standards.

Could the UK become the dirty back door to allow fur trade, animal parts and substandard food to be traded.

If you trust Mr Trump’s honest dealing and China and India’s records on animal welfare then of course their is nothing to worry about. However, a brief overview from the wide spectrum of the UK’s press should give you some food for thought. ( Just don’t choke on the chlorine).

The Independent.

The Guardian

The Telegraph

The Daily mail

Climate change unites the world ( nearly ).

Climate change is one subject that should unite us all ( with those exceptions who own their own form of space travel and alternative planet to call home.)

It is now generally accepted by every nation and every political party that climate change is a fact and that humans are contributing to it. ( There are arguments as to the degree but the idea that climate change is 100 percent natural has been put to bed ).

This is why and how the Paris agreement was reached in 2015. With 195 countries supporting it.

The non signatories (2) did not sign due to non acceptance they did not think it went far enough Nicaragua and because of the ongoing civil war Syria.

Can you think of any other binding agreement to which every country in the world signs up to ?

Politically of course this would seem to be easy as everybody lives on the same planet . In the USA the majority are in favour of the Paris agreement see the figures here

And rightly so air pollution kills 200,000 a year in the USA see here its over 5 million a year worldwide. This does not include deaths caused by climate change just the immediate effects of air pollution.

The last week in my home town of Manchester we have seen people from all back grounds, religions and nationalities come together.

Crowds pay respects at  St Ann’s square Manchester. Picture Gary Roberts

This surely is the only way a growing world population of human beings can exist and survive on our increasing crowded planet 

The Paris agreement was an example, perhaps the only example of the whole world coming together to work together for a common aim.

The effects of climate change and pollution can and will be catastrophic worldwide, a balanced view can be seen below and via the link.

From the Zoological Society of London. Climate change will not act alone, but instead interact with – and potentially aggravate – other pressures. For example, semi-arid areas of the world including large parts of Africa will experience more unpredictable rains. This could lead to poorer harvests, greater water stress, famine, higher incidence of disease and increased conflicts with wildlife that share the same land and water resources. It is important to be able to accurately predict these ecological, economic and societal consequences in order to design effective actions in response, whether these are aimed at trying to stop them from happening by curbing carbon emissions or adapting to the inevitable changes.

One man has thought fit to derail this process and undermine the democratic wish of his country even his own supporters ( 47% of Trump supporters think ( Paris agreement) is a good idea 25% weren’t sure 28% opposed it  ” ) source CNBC

You can contact him here https://www.donaldjtrump.com/contact/ although he has not listened to every country in the world or the majority of his own supporters who expressed an opinion.

7.3 billion  humans and a known 8.7 million other species will suffer because of it.