Conservationists have responded with fury to Botwana’s decision to sell licenses to trophy hunters which allows them to shoot 60 elephants.
An auction saw the permits sell for more than £30,000 each, totalling £1.8m in a move which experts have said will speed up the extinction of an endangered species.
Conservation groups have lobbied tirelessly against president Mokgweetsi Masisi’s decision to resume big-game hunting after a five year ban.
Africa’s elephant numbers have plummeted in recent years due to poaching – falling by 30 percent between 2007-2014 and two thirds since 1979.
Botswana has the most elephants of any African country – between 120,000 and 130,000.
The country’s populations have actually grown in that time, but officials said ‘there is a negative impact of the hunting suspension on livelihoods, particularly for community-based organizations’.
Botswana commonly sees conflict between elephants and humans as the animals roam freely on farmland.
There is an ongoing global debate about the impact of trophy hunting on endangered animal populations.
Officials claim the money obtained from hunting is used to fund conservation efforts and is therefore beneficial to the species as a whole.
But activists argue that licensed hunting fuels demand for elephant body parts and the ivory trade in particular, and in turn funds further poaching. Experts have described the decision by Botswana as a ‘global conservation disaster’.
There are also many other issues related to trophy hunting – welfare groups fear the intelligent animals will react to the dangers of hunters and migrate into neighbouring countries where hunting is allowed.
Animal rights groups have also argued that the reinstatement of hunting will lead elephants to view humans as a threat, and cause more human fatalities, while there are fears for its impact on elephant gene pools.
‘Risk of extinction’
Eduardo Goncalves, founder of the Campaign to Ban Trophy Hunting, told The Independent: “Scientists have noticed that trophy hunting and poaching of African elephants is leading to elephants having shorter tusks and that there are now more adult elephants with no tusks.
“Trophy hunting is artificial selection. By targeting the biggest and strongest animals, it leaves the weaker, smaller animals behind. This means the best genes are being lost, so the species will be less able to adapt to accelerating climate change, it will be more prone to disease, and the risk of extinction is greater.”
The move by Botswana has been met by public outcry and condemned across the globe.
A group of wildlife experts and celebrities, including Ralph Fiennes, said: “Trophy-hunting of elephants often brings a slow, painful death. With its population dwindling and increasingly scattered, the impact of trophy-hunting could be disastrous and possibly contribute to the extinction of the species.
“This would be a major global conservation disaster – potentially the worst in living memory – and have tremendously damaging consequences for efforts to conserve endangered fauna and flora everywhere.”
- Read: Elephants beaten with hooks and stabbed in the ears to force them to perform for tourists at Nepalese festival
What do you think of Botswana’s decision to resume trophy hunting? Share your thoughts in the comments section below!
Vegan culture, food, beauty & more
Newly launched Veggie Challenge App to help you go plant-based with meal plans, tips, recipes and more
- Mohsina Dodhiya
- 3rd September 2020
‘The ProVeg Veggie Challenge App makes it easier than ever to try a more plant-based diet,’ says the organization. ProVeg has launched an app to help more people transition to a plant based lifestyle. A leading international food awareness organization-ProVeg, states that there has ‘never been a better time to explore your food choices’ especially …
- Mohsina Dodhiya
- 19th June 2020
All sorts of plant-based foods and products will be up for sale at this summer’s Vegan Farmers’ Market in Vancouver. Vancouver is gearing to launch the city’s first Vegan Farmers Market on 27 June at Vancouver’s Concord Community Park. The event will operate right through summer for eight full Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 2 …
All the quizzes you love to binge!
- Marlon Farrugia
- 10th January 2020
How much vegan knowledge do you have stored away? Do you have to Google your way through a shopping trip, or do you have all the bad E-numbers memorised? Find out now with this quiz. Marlon Farrugia Marlon Farrugia is a freelance writer from Brighton. He has been a dedicated vegan for many years, and …
- Marlon Farrugia
- 13th October 2019
Spook Season approaches. There will be ghosts, goblins, ghouls, and glucose. You need a costume, and you want to it to show off your personality, which means VEGAN. But what to choose? Take our quiz to find out your perfect outfit. Marlon Farrugia Marlon Farrugia is a freelance writer from Brighton. He has been a …
- Marlon Farrugia
- 26th September 2019
“If you were a vegetable, what kind would you be?” A question that has tormented humanity throughout the ages – until now. Read: QUIZ: If you score 19/20 on THIS quiz, you’re a Vegan God Marlon Farrugia Marlon Farrugia is a freelance writer from Brighton. He has been a dedicated vegan for many years, and …