Legalised hunting of endangered species?!

I thought this was madness when I first read the BBC News story on the latest ruling of CITES, the Convention on International Trade of Endangered Species.

I had never heard of the group until now, and I was surprised to learn that they had just ruled that, and I quote from the BBC…

Namibia and South Africa are each to be allowed to kill and export five black rhinoceros per year….also allow the two nations to increase their exports of leopard products.

I couldn’t believe it, after all the work and many years that have been put into restablishing these creatures, when their numbers are increasing the World rules that is is now okay to start hunting them again?! How short sighted. How much longer are we going to go on being short sighted in every action the human race takes? This frustrates me.

The WWF stated to the BBC that…

South Africa does not have adequate management and control mechanisms in place to allow for trophy hunting of black rhinos.

…and went on to discuss that they are having enough trouble policing the allowed White Rhino hunting, never mind adding the Black Rhino to that list.

The further arguement from those Governments is that this will bring much needed money to the region. Again the WWF say that they do not believe this will be the case, presumably as the money from the White Rhinos hunted and killed “legally” does not go to the local people.

I just can’t believe that this group, CITES, are engaged in the active management of hunting endangered species. Species that they still define as…

Appendix I: controls species whose existence is so threatened that trade is banned. Covers some 1,000 plants and animals, eg great apes.

Appendix I is the classification that this organisation themselves use to classify endangered species. So their own rules state that the hunting is banned because of the numbers, and yet they sanction this very act.

I think it’s just all going to end in more decline of the species. If there is the slightest legal trade then it’s harder to find the illegal exports. Or rather, it’s easier for the poachers to hide it.

Madness. Well my donation keeps going to the WWF every month, and hopefully they will either try to reverse the decision or pick up the pieces and privately fund the monitoring of this trade.

As if we weren’t destroying enough of the world as it was.

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