Thursday, 9 April 2015

Can hunting endangered species save the species? Part II

Can hunting endangered species save the species? II

Australia's decision to ban the import of lion trophies puzzles me. I'm still not sure of what this ban is trying to achieve. 
It sure sounds good: 
Greg Hunt (That’s his name, no pun intended), the environment minister, said he had signed an order to prevent the import of the gruesome hunting trophies, effective immediately.
The trophies are often derived from an artificial type of slaughter, mostly taking place in South Africa, called “canned hunting”. Captive-bred lions are put into enclosures where tourists pay thousands of dollars for the dubious privilege of shooting them with guns or crossbows.

The trophies are often derived from an artificial type of slaughter, mostly taking place in South Africa, called “canned hunting”. Captive-bred lions are put into enclosures where tourists pay thousands of dollars for the dubious privilege of shooting them with guns or crossbows.

 “It is about raising the most majestic of creatures for a singular purpose and that is to kill them, to shoot them for pleasure and for profit,” Hunt said.
“It is done in inhumane conditions. It is involving things such as raising and then drugging and in many cases, baiting. It is simply not acceptable in our day, in our time, on our watch.”
Hunt said Liberal MP Jason Wood initially raised the issue with him and that he hoped other countries would adopt similar measures to help prevent the decline of lion numbers.

Campaign director Michael Kennedy said the African lion was a vulnerable species facing a high risk of extinction in the wild.
"As a nation that imports lion trophies Australia has an important role to play in helping stop further demand for them," Mr Kennedy said.
"A ban on the import of trophies from African lions by Australia sends an important signal internationally that Australia is not willing to support the possible extinction of African lions."

So Mr. Hunt makes three assumptions here:
1) Canned hunting causes the lion population to decline
2) Banning canned hunting will lead to stopping the decline
3) Banning the trophy import will stop this cruelty.

So going by Mr. Hunt's logic, if lions bred for the sole purpose of slaughter get slaughtered, this leads to a decimation of the wild lion population. 
How exactly?
By the same logic, 
Slaughtering pigs in pig farms leads to wild boar population decline.
Killing cows in abattoirs leads to bisons being decimated.
Killing goats for food leads to a decline in ibex population.
Hmmmm maybe he has discovered something I didnt know.

4) (Just for the sake of argument). He assumes these "most majestic" of animals are killed for a singular purpose and that is to kill them, to shoot them for pleasure and for profit.

 How is this different from raising cows of slaughter for the sole purpose of killing them, profiting from them, eating them, using their skins to make handbags and shoes?

The only difference it seems is that lions are more "majestic". (It cant be that they are wild as we are talking about canned hunting). Mr. Hunt how do you define majestic? I may find a sheep more majestic than a lion; will you ban the big sheep industry in Australia?
1.2 Billion Hindus find the cow more sacred than the lion. Will you ban the Australian cattle industry?
Anyways, coming back to lions,

How does stopping canned hunting save the wild lions from extinction? Doesnt a breeding program take the pressure off the natural occurring population and actually stop the decline?
There are dozens of examples that having commercially bred animals saved that species' population.
In addition to cow, dog, goat, sheep, chicken, pig, we have pheasant, chukar populations in the UK as examples.

Also see the video about the scimitar horned oryx.

All experts agree that the biggest reasons for lion number reductions are poaching and habitat destruction.
Shouldn't we ban them instead?
Oh hold on, poaching is banned already. What about habitat destruction? Depending on ones definition, its either banned or a result of industrialization/ overpopulation and numerous other factors that one can not simply ban. 
Also he has banned all lion trophies, both canned and free range (say hunted in Tanzania for instance).

I would understand if he had stated that he feels canned hunting is cruel and unethical and they will ban all canned hunt trophies or trophies from countries that allow canned hunting. 

Or he could also have said that his government does not approve of any lion hunting. But no; in a typical government cookie cutter hypocrisy, he had to state it is being done to protect the wild lion population.
But hey I'm a serial killer, so I am biased right?
So lets hear what Mikkel Legarth, a non-hunter, a former anti-hunting campaigner, founder of Modisa, a charity in Africa to protect lions, says about lion hunting.

I know politicians are not always right. But to get things so wrong and giving wrong reasons to people about the reasons for their decisions can only mean two things:

Mr Hunt is a liar. 


He has no understanding of his own area of supposed expertise (environment ministry). This also means he is stupid because he cant see his logic is twisted and neither has he cared to ask someone who knows.

I rest my case.  


  1. To say I have strong views on the subject would be a gross understatement. Greg Hunt and Jason Wood, minister for idiots and honourable member for numbskulls respectively, have such a small minded view of this complex issue; they cannot see the world beyond the next election.

    The popular protectionist view they support is to ban what they don't understand. Even with the evidence from Kenya and Botswana where lions are slaughtered due to attacks on cattle and goats; where this "most majestic" cat is devalued to the extent that a stinking, scrawny goat lost would see the senseless killing of a pride of lions, they continue this lunatic approach rather than look at successful models of game management and sustainable utilisation employed over most of Southern Africa and indeed around the world.

    So much stupid.

    If we look at hunter motivations for a moment. The import of ivory and elephant products has been in place for longer than I care to remember. Australian big game hunters know that they cannot import a hunted elephant trophy. Yet strangely, there is a constant stream of Australian hunters, myself and Glenn McGrath (infamous pin-up boy for the anti hunters down under in recent times), heading over to Africa to hunt elephant. Leaving behind tidy sums of money and tonnes of meat for locals all over Southern Africa. No whining from the dedicated hunters. It would be nice to bring something back, but it's the experience the hunter craves, whether there is skin or horn, ivory, bone or antler to bring home is quite immaterial to the hunt.

    I wonder if these small minded fools considered that? The hunting won't stop, the animals will be totally devalued if it does, and then the killing will start. And another species bites the dust.

    Australians mismanagement of its mammals, with the enviable record of the greatest number of extinctions in the shortest period of time hardly qualifies political fools such as Mr.Hunt to make any representations or offer any advise.

    This clown is a law and tax scholar. One of his first actions as Minister for the Environment was to ring Tim Flannery, the head of the Climate Commission, to announce the closure of the scientific advisory body on climate change. He has argued the existence of global warming with the executive secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.

    How does this man get into a position where he has any say on such matters?

    Voters are idiots.
    Politicians are frauds.
    And I was born a hundred years to late.
    I should go before I tell you what I really think.