LONG BEACH (coup2k.com) May 2, 2001 -- The 'canned hunt' finds a friend in the father of His Fraudulency, Dan Quayle, Normal Schwartzkopf.FROM The Humane Society of the United States
Bush Senior Bashes Botswana Lion Hunting Ban
Safari Club International (SCI) has brought out the big guns to take down Botswana's year-long ban on hunting lions: Former President George Bush, Sr., Former Vice President Dan Quayle, and General Norman Schwartzkopf. These three have signed a letter asking the government of Botswana to end the lion hunting ban, which was put in place in February to protect the quickly disappearing species. As active trophy hunters, Bush, Quayle, and Schwartzkopf have a vested interest in blocking governmental limits to hunting. Quayle and Schwartzkopf may have a particular interest in this ban, having recently been trophy hunting in Botswana. FROM THE BORN FREE FOUNDATION
According to the Guardian, SCI and its ilk warn that the lion hunting ban will hurt Botswana's economy. But hunting operators, who run their hunts on state-owned land, have always pocketed a vast majority of the fees (about $30,000 each) paid by trophy hunters. According to the Born Free Foundation, this year the government of Botswana would have earned less than $100,000 of the approximately $5 million that the hunting industry would have made from lion hunting.
Overhunting by wealthy American, European, and Japanese trophy hunters has driven Africa's population of lions from an estimated 50,000 to around 15,000 in a decade. Because trophy hunters target male lions--their manes make them much more impressive trophies--it is thought that only 5,000 male lions remain on the African continent. Some studies of lion populations have shown that the vacuum caused by eliminating just one prime male member of a pride can result in the effective loss of as many as 10 lions. Unless trophy hunting is controlled, there will be no more lions in the wild. Botswana's ban is to be cheered, not challenged. The government has taken a responsible step, and it must not be deterred by the complaints of irresponsible trophy hunters, represented by SCI and its lobbying guns.
What You Can Do
Write letters to Botswana's Minister of Commerce and Industry, Tebelelo Seretse, and Vice President, Seretse Ian Khama. Say that you strongly support Botswana's ban on hunting lions and wish to see it made permanent. Note: Because the Botswana government officials are difficult to reach, handwritten letters are the only sure way for your pleas to be heard.
SNAIL MAIL, PHONE AND FAX
The Honorable Tebelelo Seretse
Minister of Commerce and Industry
Private Bag 004
Telex 2674 Trade BD
Fax: 011 267 372 539
The Honorable Seretse Ian Khama
Vice President of Botswana
Fax: 011 267 350 888
Lions face new threat from hunters
As the Botswana Government bravely sticks to its guns over the lion hunting ban, Safari Club International, and its prominent supporters such as George Bush senior, will hopefully have to lower theirs.
The introduction of the hunting ban in February was based on sound scientific data not emotion. There are genuine concerns over the future of lion numbers - and the growing imbalance in the male/female ratio. Killing a 'trophy' male does not just necessarily reduce the population by 'one' - the repercussions on prides and the rapid turnover of males as a result can have negative effects on reproduction, increasing the impact tenfold.
Born Free Foundation supports the research work of Pieter Kat and Kate Nicholls, both working on the Okavango Lion Conservation Project. Their work, along with other researchers and conservationists is vital. The lion, once abundant, is slowly loosing its foothold in Africa. The priority now should be to work with governments and local communities to conserve this species for the benefit of all - not to line the pockets of the likes of Safari Club International.
All respect to Botswana for standing firm on this hunting ban. Surely Safari Club International should now show some respect for a decision that has been taken at Government level in a bid to help manage a lion population in a sustainable way. -Alison Hood
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