Killing animals is not bravery!

I disagree that trophy hunting is justified in Africa, even though it is one of the least developed countries and has little money to spare for the protection of endangered animals. And I certainly don’t think trophy hunting can be justified as a sport. There are better ways to have fun and various adventurous sports to enjoy rather than go trophy hunting. In a country like Africa, where wildlife tourism is one of the biggest sources of revenue, there should be campaigns and programs to raise awareness about the need to save their endangered animals and birds rather than hunt them down in their habitat. A nation grows its economy by preserving and promoting their flora and fauna instead of opening it for the world to hunt their endangered species. It’s quite foolish to let a tourist or native hunt animals for their self pride and take back home a killed animal as a reward for their “bravery”. One simple logic is; humans sit at top of the food chain and we no longer are in the nomadic age of hunting and surviving. We have come ages ahead of this and have developed tools and kits to live luxuriously. So why do we have to go back and disturb the natural habitat of the modern day food chain? Let animals play hide and seek and prove their natural instinct for the survival of the fittest theory. We have no right to plunge into their world just for some animalistic adrenalin rush.

Trophy hunting might be a lucrative business for the poor but can we put it on a par with wildlife tourism? What will the poor do when these animals go extinct? People need to understand that this isn’t about making a living for a day. They need to have a plan of action to survive in the long run. The African governments need to make strong legislations to protect these species, otherwise it won’t be long that they become extinct.

From Ms Sonal Tiwari

Associate producer at a film-production company based in Mumbai, India

End big game hunting

Last week the death of Cecil the lion at the hands of a big game hunter, Walter Palmer, sparked mass outrage worldwide. Even as animal conservationists, politicians and celebrities came out to denounce the act, some hunting groups defended it as a legal, regulated pastime.

Proponents of big game hunting claim that the fees obtained from legal, regulated hunting (as opposed to poaching, which is illegal and unsanctioned) go towards helping poor communities in the localities, as well as towards conservation efforts to protect endangered species. According to Safari Club International, revenues from hunting bring in as much as $200 million. However, a research published by the pro-hunting International Council for Game and Wildlife Conservation and the UN Food and Agricultural Organization found that only 3 per cent of the revenue actually goes to the communities living in the hunting areas. The vast majority ends up in the hands of firms and government agencies and very little of it goes to the conservation of animals due to corruption and other spending requirements. On the other hand, natural non-consumptive tourism brings in billions and billions of dollars; just from people wishing to witness Nature. If lions and other wild animals continue to be hunted, then eventually this much larger, more vital source of income would be under threat.

The very idea that hunting an animal is essential to its conservation is counter-intuitive. Especially when it comes to lions, whose numbers have declined to 32,000 individuals left all over the world. In addition, whenever a male lion is killed the new dominant male usually kills off the cubs sired by the previous male, resulting in the loss of an entire generation within the pride. While sustainable hunting has been under discussion for decades, the population of big game has only declined. It comes as no surprise then that were millions of signatures on online petitions calling for the end of legal lion hunting.

From Mr Ibrahim Bashir

Graduate student from the Louisiana State University, US

Hunting is a tradition

I don’t think that hunting should banned. For me hunting is a sacred tradition that I do not take lightly. I believe that man was put on Earth to manage Earth and take care of it. Definitely not to use and abuse but I do believe that human beings are better than animals and are in charge of them. I believe that it is man’s right to hunt and gather. I do not believe in the killing of exotic or endangered animals, but if you respect the animal being hunted and you respect the act of hunting itself, then it is okay. Ever since I can remember I have gone hunting for white tail deers in west Nebraska with my father who just recently passed away. My father taught me that it is important to respect and love animals. This is the reason I hunt only for one whitetail buck every year. To me it is our tradition and that makes me feel like I have the liberty to hunt. In the past years we have killed several doe along with the bucks when their population had exceeded the normal range, but last year there was a disease that affected the deer popoulation, so we ensured that we killed only one buck. Even though my father is no more, I carry forth the tradition and I hunt with other father like figures in my life. We thank god for creating such beautiful creatures and we enjoy the hunting sessions and getting a big buck. But that is not all, we also donate the meat to the city mission for dinners. This feeds a lot of needy people. I love animals and I will always be a hunter.

From Ms Haley Hamm

Student based in Nebraska, US

Money for conservation

Sabrina Corgatelli of Idaho, a big-game hunter who recently was in news for posing with a dead giraffe after she hunted it down, is just one of the many big-game hunters who justify killing of animals. She said in a TV interview, “Giraffes are very dangerous animals. They could hurt you seriously, very quickly.” I do agree that fewer larger beasts will result in fewer human deaths, especially in a country like Africa where apparently poverty and illness already result in a huge number of deaths. Hippopotamuses have been reported for killing more than three hundred humans a year in Africa, with other animals such as the elephant and lion also causing many fatalities. But this does not mean that we encroach the habitats of these beasts and kill them. If someone comes into your house and points an arrow at you, will you not obviously attack them? All beings have a natural defence mechanism, wild beasts will attack if you walk into their space and endanger their life. And I am sure the number of people dying from wild beast attack anywhere cannot be compared to the number of people killed by other human beings, does that give us the liberty to kill all human beings? I also feel that most of these human deaths happen when people invade animal spaces. I think stronger animal protection laws need to be enforced in Africa and hunting especially of endangered species should be banned. We need to raise awareness to discourage the many existing hunting groups who think it ethical to kill animals for their pleasure. Money for conservation doesn’t necessarily have to come from hunting these animals, eco-tourism can be developed instead, since Afica is a place many tourism enthusiasts visit.

Ms. Shweta Priyadarshini

Advocate based in Delhi, India

No need to ban hunting

I don’t think that hunting needs to be banned around the world. I agree that a majority of humans have evolved and the process of obtaining food has changed from the hunting and gathering, but a lot of tribes in various countries still depend on hunting for food. Banning hunting would mean making their existence difficult. Big-game hunters should be discouraged since they are educated about animals that are endangered. Hunting groups that do so just for pleasure should be discouraged. Many hunters follow a legal procedure to obtain their hunt and pay vast amounts of money. Why place the entire blame on them, when there is a whole system in place for this kind of activity? The system needs to be nipped in the bud. There are organisations that help these hunters. A 2000 report from Traffic, an wildlife trade monitoring network that works with World Wide Fund for Nature(WWF), International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), and Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (Cites) to track the international trade of wildlife, describes how Namibia alone was the site of almost 16,000 trophy hunts that year. Those 16,000 animals represent a wide variety of species both endangered and not. They include four of the “big five” popular African game: lion, Cape buffalo, leopard, and rhinoceros. The hunters brought with them, $11 million to spend in the Namibian economy. With this kind of money coming into a poor economy, it becomes an attractive opportunity for the country itself to sustain such activities. In such countries, hunting becomes a boost for the tourism industry. While many argue that hunting is inhumane, many hunters argue that they are willing to hunt in places that are poor for wildlife viewing or lack attractive scenery. Many hunting groups suggest that they hunt in areas that would not have otherwise been able to reap an economic benefit from ecotourism. It is a vicious cycle that will exist as long as the main issues of poverty and corruption are not tackled.

From Mr Vhiew Rhome Mar

Cost controller based in Philippines