How Trump’s wildlife board is rebranding trophy hunting as good for animals

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How Trump’s wildlife board is rebranding trophy hunting as good for animals

Post by scarab280 » Tue Oct 29, 2019 5:36 am

Source: The Guardian
Jack Bullinger.


As hunters hold immense clout in the Trump administration and most of the council’s members are advocates of the sport, critics worry the board will protect their hobby, not the animals


Donald Trump has called big-game trophy hunting a “horror show”, despite his own sons’ participation in elephant and leopard hunts, and in 2017 he formed an advisory board to steer US policy on the issue.

But rather than conservation scientists and wildlife advocates, it is composed of advocates for the hunting of elephants, giraffes and other threatened, charismatic species. And observers say that since Trump took office, court rulings and administrative decisions have in fact made it easier for hunters to import the body parts of lions, elephants and other animals killed in Africa.

Members of Trump’s advisory board, called the International Wildlife Conservation Council (IWCC), argue that the sport, in which wealthy hunters pay tens of thousands of dollars to shoot endangered megafauna, is a laudable method of conservation abroad.

“This council will be focused on making hunting a better tool for conservation,” said John Jackson III, a member of the IWCC and founder of Conservation Force, an international hunting non-profit. Only two of the council’s 16 members are not active advocates for trophy hunting – the rest belong to groups such as Safari Club International and the National Rifle Association. Instead of discussing whether the sport should be limited, the group is focusing on how to broaden its reach.

Awareness of trophy hunting has increased thanks to social media. In 2015, a Minnesota dentist ignited debate when he shot Cecil, an enormous, black-maned lion immensely popular with camera-wielding tourists and a focus of research. More recently, a Kentucky woman has been criticized for triumphantly posing next to a giraffe she killed; conservationists estimate giraffe populations have fallen 40% since 1990.

Trophy hunters hold immense clout in the Trump administration. The president’s sons, Donald Jr and Eric, frequently hunt in Africa. And the hunting advisory council operates under the auspices of the interior secretary, Ryan Zinke, who received $10,000 from the Safari Club during his 2016 congressional campaign. The lopsided composition of the council has critics worried its decisions will protect their chosen pastime, not the animals.

Walter Palmer, right, with one of his kills – a White Rhino. He also hunted and killed Cecil, an enormous, black-maned lion popular with tourists and a focus of research, in 2015 in Zimbabwe.
Walter Palmer, right, with one of his kills – a white rhino. He also hunted and killed Cecil, an enormous, black-maned lion popular with tourists and a focus of research, in 2015 in Zimbabwe. Photograph: Rex Shutterstock
“People who consider themselves conservationists don’t consider trophy hunting conservation,” said Tanya Sanerib, international legal director for the Center for Biological Diversity. “It’s an elite, bourgeois activity.”

The US cannot ban its residents from hunting in another nation, but it does regulate the importation of trophies – the body parts of animals killed abroad. Hunters seeking to import the remains of species protected under the Endangered Species Act must provide proof that killing an individual animal broadly enhances the species’ odds of survival.

In 2017, Trump’s interior department eased Obama-era restrictions on trophy hunting, and the president used Twitter to voice displeasure with the practice, writing it was unlikely he would “change my mind that this horror show in any way helps conservation of Elephants or any other animal”. The department then reinstated the ban, but a subsequent court ruling found that it was not based on proper rule-making procedures, and imports continue.

Irrespective of Trump’s comments, the Fish and Wildlife Agency, which oversees trophy imports, holds that well-regulated sport hunting is beneficial to the survival of endangered species. “Most wildlife would cease to exist if it wasn’t for the habitat and the anti-poaching activity” funded by trophy hunters, said Jackson of the IWCC.

The wealthy Americans who hunt abroad say their very presence deters poachers, and their fees keep habitat from being converted to other uses. If a field’s purpose is switched from hunting to cattle grazing, a lion is less a revenue engine than something that might eat one’s livelihood.

Sport hunting’s contribution to species preservation is far from clearcut, however. Researchers tend to agree that a robust hunting industry successfully prevents native grassland from being converted to agriculture, and that it generates important revenue for communities without a viable ecotourism industry. But meeting the bar for imports – by proving that hunting improves a species’ chance of survival – is much more complex. “It has to be a net positive for conservation,” said Scott Creel, a conservation biologist at Montana State University, “and that’s where there is some debate.”

Cecil in 2013 in Hwange National Park, Zimbabwe. Wealthy Americans who hunt abroad say their very presence deters poachers, and their fees keep habitat from being converted to other uses.
Cecil in 2013 in Hwange national park, Zimbabwe. Wealthy Americans who hunt abroad say their very presence deters poachers, and their fees keep habitat from being converted to other uses. Photograph: Sean Herbert/AP
There’s evidence that sport hunters weed out desirable genetic traits by killing the largest and strongest animals. Some researchers say well-regulated trophy hunting promotes biodiversity; others contend it only protects the species hunters want to shoot. And claims that legal hunters deter poachers may be spurious – researchers have found that ending the legal trade of ivory is the best way to go.

Creel’s own research into Zambia’s lion population showed that trophy hunting policy can have a widespread effect on the health of a species. “Our data showed that [lions] appeared to be overhunted,” he said. “The Zambian government implemented a three-year trophy hunting ban, and we immediately saw a response – the population shifted from declining to growing, male survival improved, and more cubs were being raised.”

As evidenced by the controversy surrounding recent high-profile kills, sport hunting poses an ethical conundrum as well. Sanerib sees the activity as a “pay-to-play” system that counters the Endangered Species Act’s intent. “As long as you have enough money, and you allegedly are putting it toward the conservation of the species, you can do whatever you want,” she said.

Jackson, the IWCC member, sees it another way. Politicians and the mainstream media have “put out bad information, and people have no idea that they’re attacking a paradigm that saves more wildlife than anybody, and to which there is no alternative,” he says. “I’ll repeat that – no alternative. When the hunting community is disenfranchised, that’s the end of most of the habitat, and most of the wildlife.”

Jackson’s hunts over the years may have resulted in the death of more than a dozen bull elephants – but he believes his cash has saved hundreds of others.



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Re: How Trump’s wildlife board is rebranding trophy hunting as good for animals

Post by tck62 » Tue Oct 29, 2019 12:01 pm

It's really a fundamental question on whether the needs of the one outweigh the needs of the many. Big game hunting brings cash to these impoverished areas and it upsets the balance in the long term interests of the DNA chains of these species which poaching has devastated over the decades.

IF the hunters bring in the cash that makes it in the financial interests of the locals to protect the DNA chains of these species and preserving their habitat it's is a plan worth holding our nose and doing it.

One a side note it's a balance I've always thought we should strike here and have the duck hunters, fishermen and conservationists work together on habitat protection and not constantly fighting with each other.

After all it's the protection of the DNA chains that is really important.

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Re: How Trump’s wildlife board is rebranding trophy hunting as good for animals

Post by JAF » Tue Oct 29, 2019 12:31 pm

Thanks again, Scarab. Much appreciated.

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Re: How Trump’s wildlife board is rebranding trophy hunting as good for animals

Post by GuideToACrazyWorld » Tue Oct 29, 2019 12:59 pm

In certain circumstance trophy hunting can be good for animals.



That is only true in very specific controlled cases where the animals are carefully selected and the funds are used for conservation efforts.

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Re: How Trump’s wildlife board is rebranding trophy hunting as good for animals

Post by scarab280 » Tue Oct 29, 2019 3:29 pm

GuideToACrazyWorld wrote:
Tue Oct 29, 2019 12:59 pm
In certain circumstance trophy hunting can be good for animals.



That is only true in very specific controlled cases where the animals are carefully selected and the funds are used for conservation efforts.
Sure, I understand that, my issue, primarily, really is big game hunting in places such as Africa, as an extension of Trumps stance on this, he has made it easier for people who engage in such activities, to bring back their 'trophies'... I can't personally see any benefit inn hunting giraffes and elephants, both animals have numbers in decline. Perhaps both his sons proclivity for such pursuits has swayed his view even more on this... They both hunt big game in Africa, and post 'proud' pics of themselves with the dead animal. Disgusting. I'm.pretty sure those boys are NOT doing it for conservation reasons. Plus, I don't get the whole 'bravery' & conquest bent on it.. Maybe if they were not using a long range presicion scope on a kick-azz rifle, they'd have bragging brights, but there's no glory to be had, in my mind, from an taking down a magnificent wild animal, that doesn't even know what's coming at them. I think they'd fare differently, if it was a one on one survival of the fittest situation.
.

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Re: How Trump’s wildlife board is rebranding trophy hunting as good for animals

Post by Senor Natural » Tue Oct 29, 2019 3:34 pm

tck62 wrote:
Tue Oct 29, 2019 12:01 pm
It's really a fundamental question on whether the needs of the one outweigh the needs of the many. Big game hunting brings cash to these impoverished areas and it upsets the balance in the long term interests of the DNA chains of these species which poaching has devastated over the decades.

IF the hunters bring in the cash that makes it in the financial interests of the locals to protect the DNA chains of these species and preserving their habitat it's is a plan worth holding our nose and doing it.

One a side note it's a balance I've always thought we should strike here and have the duck hunters, fishermen and conservationists work together on habitat protection and not constantly fighting with each other.

After all it's the protection of the DNA chains that is really important.
the impoverished never get any of the money generated by big game hunting

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Re: How Trump’s wildlife board is rebranding trophy hunting as good for animals

Post by GuideToACrazyWorld » Tue Oct 29, 2019 3:39 pm

scarab280 wrote:
Tue Oct 29, 2019 3:29 pm


Sure, I understand that, my issue, primarily, really is big game hunting in places such as Africa, as an extension of Trumps stance on this, he has made it easier for people who engage in such activities, to bring back their 'trophies'... I can't personally see any benefit inn hunting giraffes and elephants, both animals have numbers in decline. Perhaps both his sons proclivity for such pursuits has swayed his view even more on this... They both hunt big game in Africa, and post 'proud' pics of themselves with the dead animal. Disgusting. I'm.pretty sure those boys are NOT doing it for conservation reasons. Plus, I don't get the whole 'bravery' & conquest bent on it.. Maybe if they were not using a long range presicion scope on a kick-azz rifle, they'd have bragging brights, but there's no glory to be had, in my mind, from an taking down a magnificent wild animal, that doesn't even know what's coming at them. I think they'd fare differently, if it was a one on one survival of the fittest situation.
.
It could be adventurous if those huts were controlled to only target aggressive or aging animals (past the age of reproduction) and then the proceeds were used to support conservation efforts in the country. Trump's support is much broader then what I discussing, I recognize that. Helping rich assholes part with their money and then using it to protect the animals they want to hunt has a bit of poetic justice to it. It's already prove effective with the white rino, why not expand the practice to other species? Even if it is against our sensibilities.

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Re: How Trump’s wildlife board is rebranding trophy hunting as good for animals

Post by Senor Natural » Tue Oct 29, 2019 3:40 pm

wildlife is public property. trophy hunting is for rich only, allowing them to shoot public property for their own pleasure. Public get zero benefit from trophy hunting.
only private business which caters to the rich gets any money. trophy hunting is permitting certain people to profit for shooting wildlife. normal public can't afford to hunt what belongs to them, and they get no money from the trophy hunting.
the public has fewer rights and privileges in public property than the rich, who pay for extra rights and privilege.
hunting for the public is over regulated, prohibitory for most people. public hunts on public land are rare, lottery driven, still cost money for the pubic.
hunting for non-rich is on private land, and costs are prohibitive there, too.
trophy hunting costs really big dollars, far more than 99% of the public can afford, so only the rich get to hunt game that belongs to the public.
none of that money goes to the poor . . . not one penny.

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Re: How Trump’s wildlife board is rebranding trophy hunting as good for animals

Post by scarab280 » Tue Oct 29, 2019 3:44 pm

JAF wrote:
Tue Oct 29, 2019 12:31 pm
Thanks again, Scarab. Much appreciated.
My.pleasure, well kind of you know what I mean...given.the subject matter, lol. "Truthy" has a very full plate right now, so I'm happy to chip in when a topic pulls at me. My knowledge of US politics is not really adequate enough (yet) for me to confidently post on such topics in depth...it's a learning curve, and partly the result of living in the bubble of life in NZ (I miss Australia, living there). As I'm planning to emigrate to the US within the next year, I really need to brush up on US politics.☺

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Re: How Trump’s wildlife board is rebranding trophy hunting as good for animals

Post by scarab280 » Tue Oct 29, 2019 3:53 pm

GuideToACrazyWorld wrote:
Tue Oct 29, 2019 12:59 pm
In certain circumstance trophy hunting can be good for animals.



That is only true in very specific controlled cases where the animals are carefully selected and the funds are used for conservation efforts.
Yeah, I have my doubts still about the efficacy of this taking out poaching. Thank you though for this perspective, plus, it is self admitted in the video only some of these programs are corruption free, which is not surprising.

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Re: How Trump’s wildlife board is rebranding trophy hunting as good for animals

Post by GuideToACrazyWorld » Tue Oct 29, 2019 3:56 pm

scarab280 wrote:
Tue Oct 29, 2019 3:53 pm
Yeah, I have my doubts still about the efficacy of this taking out poaching.
It's only one weapon in the arsenal. It isn't aimed at taking out poaching. That is something that can only be done through both community and government support. What this does do is help to give the communities reason to support the cause. It will never be a solution in itself.

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Re: How Trump’s wildlife board is rebranding trophy hunting as good for animals

Post by GuideToACrazyWorld » Tue Oct 29, 2019 3:56 pm

Senor Natural wrote:
Tue Oct 29, 2019 3:40 pm
Public get zero benefit from trophy hunting.
That isn't always the case. Did you watch the video I posted?

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Re: How Trump’s wildlife board is rebranding trophy hunting as good for animals

Post by scarab280 » Tue Oct 29, 2019 3:59 pm

GuideToACrazyWorld wrote:
Tue Oct 29, 2019 3:56 pm
scarab280 wrote:
Tue Oct 29, 2019 3:53 pm
Yeah, I have my doubts still about the efficacy of this taking out poaching.
It's only one weapon in the arsenal. It isn't aimed at taking out poaching. That is something that can only be done through both community and government support. What this does do is help to give the communities reason to support the cause. It will never be a solution in itself.
It's 5am here, and my insomnia has had me up since 3am so i need to try.sleep.lolz, so please forgive me, for bunking off....I will revisit this conversation after some much needed zzzz's

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Re: How Trump’s wildlife board is rebranding trophy hunting as good for animals

Post by GuideToACrazyWorld » Tue Oct 29, 2019 4:02 pm

scarab280 wrote:
Tue Oct 29, 2019 3:59 pm
It's 5am here, and my insomnia has had me up since 3am so i need to try.sleep.lolz, so please forgive me, for bunking off....I will revisit this conversation after some much needed zzzz's
No problem at all. Get some sleep and I hope you have a good one.

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Re: How Trump’s wildlife board is rebranding trophy hunting as good for animals

Post by tck62 » Tue Oct 29, 2019 4:12 pm

Senor Natural wrote:
Tue Oct 29, 2019 3:34 pm
tck62 wrote:
Tue Oct 29, 2019 12:01 pm
It's really a fundamental question on whether the needs of the one outweigh the needs of the many. Big game hunting brings cash to these impoverished areas and it upsets the balance in the long term interests of the DNA chains of these species which poaching has devastated over the decades.

IF the hunters bring in the cash that makes it in the financial interests of the locals to protect the DNA chains of these species and preserving their habitat it's is a plan worth holding our nose and doing it.

One a side note it's a balance I've always thought we should strike here and have the duck hunters, fishermen and conservationists work together on habitat protection and not constantly fighting with each other.

After all it's the protection of the DNA chains that is really important.
the impoverished never get any of the money generated by big game hunting
Really? Who drives the truck? Cleans the room? Who mounts the carcass? Cooks the dinner? Sells the souvenirs?

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Re: How Trump’s wildlife board is rebranding trophy hunting as good for animals

Post by JAF » Tue Oct 29, 2019 9:05 pm

tck62 wrote:
Tue Oct 29, 2019 4:12 pm
Really? Who drives the truck? Cleans the room? Who mounts the carcass? Cooks the dinner? Sells the souvenirs?
In Africa, usually, someone who gets paid irregularly and not enough to compensate for the work they did.

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Re: How Trump’s wildlife board is rebranding trophy hunting as good for animals

Post by JAF » Tue Oct 29, 2019 9:24 pm

scarab280 wrote:
Tue Oct 29, 2019 3:44 pm
JAF wrote:
Tue Oct 29, 2019 12:31 pm
Thanks again, Scarab. Much appreciated.
My.pleasure, well kind of you know what I mean...given.the subject matter, lol. "Truthy" has a very full plate right now, so I'm happy to chip in when a topic pulls at me. My knowledge of US politics is not really adequate enough (yet) for me to confidently post on such topics in depth...it's a learning curve, and partly the result of living in the bubble of life in NZ (I miss Australia, living there). As I'm planning to emigrate to the US within the next year, I really need to brush up on US politics.☺
I am super busy with work this week. All input is appreciated and I really like your reading list. :D

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Re: How Trump’s wildlife board is rebranding trophy hunting as good for animals

Post by scarab280 » Tue Oct 29, 2019 10:30 pm

JAF wrote:
Tue Oct 29, 2019 9:24 pm
scarab280 wrote:
Tue Oct 29, 2019 3:44 pm
JAF wrote:
Tue Oct 29, 2019 12:31 pm
Thanks again, Scarab. Much appreciated.
My.pleasure, well kind of you know what I mean...given.the subject matter, lol. "Truthy" has a very full plate right now, so I'm happy to chip in when a topic pulls at me. My knowledge of US politics is not really adequate enough (yet) for me to confidently post on such topics in depth...it's a learning curve, and partly the result of living in the bubble of life in NZ (I miss Australia, living there). As I'm planning to emigrate to the US within the next year, I really need to brush up on US politics.☺
I am super busy with work this week. All input is appreciated and I really like your reading list. :D
Again, thank you, and happy to help out. I am not at all busy with work although wish I as kind of lolz...I consult, project manage, but apart from health issues stalling that I also am in the process of reinvention career wise, my field now leaves me cold. I REALLY should take on a project though to top up funds!
Anyway, than you again @JAF

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Re: How Trump’s wildlife board is rebranding trophy hunting as good for animals

Post by Senor Natural » Wed Oct 30, 2019 5:52 pm

GuideToACrazyWorld wrote:
Tue Oct 29, 2019 3:56 pm
Senor Natural wrote:
Tue Oct 29, 2019 3:40 pm
Public get zero benefit from trophy hunting.
That isn't always the case. Did you watch the video I posted?
White wash of reality

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Re: How Trump’s wildlife board is rebranding trophy hunting as good for animals

Post by Senor Natural » Wed Oct 30, 2019 5:52 pm

GuideToACrazyWorld wrote:
Tue Oct 29, 2019 3:56 pm
Senor Natural wrote:
Tue Oct 29, 2019 3:40 pm
Public get zero benefit from trophy hunting.
That isn't always the case. Did you watch the video I posted?
Whitewash of reality

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Re: How Trump’s wildlife board is rebranding trophy hunting as good for animals

Post by GuideToACrazyWorld » Wed Oct 30, 2019 9:42 pm

Senor Natural wrote:
Wed Oct 30, 2019 5:52 pm
Whitewash of reality
So you simply dissmiss facts you can't counter?

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Re: How Trump’s wildlife board is rebranding trophy hunting as good for animals

Post by Senor Natural » Thu Oct 31, 2019 2:02 am

GuideToACrazyWorld wrote:
Wed Oct 30, 2019 9:42 pm
Senor Natural wrote:
Wed Oct 30, 2019 5:52 pm
Whitewash of reality
So you simply dissmiss facts you can't counter?
simplistic cartoon, a weak attempt to justify letting the rich shoot endangered animals.
seriously, you didn't buy that BS, did you?
misogynistc, too, making man look logical in effort to explain shooting endangered animals to an emotional apparently simple minded woman.
is your wife that dumb, so dumb and emotional like that that you would explain it to her that way . . . and she would buy it?
this is something typical of an effort to white wash killing endangered animals.

I do 'dissmiss' it as cheap junk devoid of facts

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Re: How Trump’s wildlife board is rebranding trophy hunting as good for animals

Post by GuideToACrazyWorld » Thu Oct 31, 2019 4:14 am

Senor Natural wrote:
Thu Oct 31, 2019 2:02 am
I do 'dissmiss' it as cheap junk devoid of facts
Not only were facts listed but sources were cited. But hey you can't make the blind see.
Senor Natural wrote:
Thu Oct 31, 2019 2:02 am
misogynistc, too, making man look logical in effort to explain shooting endangered animals to an emotional apparently simple minded woman.
ROFLMAO. Not at all. That's the shows schtick with both men and women. Adam butts into people's lives and destroys their misconceptions upsetting them in the process. Adam's behavior is part of the joke. There is nothing misogynistic about it. You are digging really deep for excuses to not deal with the facts that were presented. If it's so obviously wrong it should be easy to refute the information instead of engaging in ad hominems.

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Re: How Trump’s wildlife board is rebranding trophy hunting as good for animals

Post by Senor Natural » Thu Oct 31, 2019 7:25 pm

GuideToACrazyWorld wrote:
Thu Oct 31, 2019 4:14 am
Senor Natural wrote:
Thu Oct 31, 2019 2:02 am
I do 'dissmiss' it as cheap junk devoid of facts
Not only were facts listed but sources were cited. But hey you can't make the blind see.
Senor Natural wrote:
Thu Oct 31, 2019 2:02 am
misogynistc, too, making man look logical in effort to explain shooting endangered animals to an emotional apparently simple minded woman.
ROFLMAO. Not at all. That's the shows schtick with both men and women. Adam butts into people's lives and destroys their misconceptions upsetting them in the process. Adam's behavior is part of the joke. There is nothing misogynistic about it. You are digging really deep for excuses to not deal with the facts that were presented. If it's so obviously wrong it should be easy to refute the information instead of engaging in ad hominems.
butthurt, eh?
meh

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Re: How Trump’s wildlife board is rebranding trophy hunting as good for animals

Post by JAF » Thu Oct 31, 2019 10:40 pm

GuideToACrazyWorld wrote:
Tue Oct 29, 2019 12:59 pm
In certain circumstance trophy hunting can be good for animals.



That is only true in very specific controlled cases where the animals are carefully selected and the funds are used for conservation efforts.
Adam's unpack of the issue is very good IMO, however I think the brevity of the clip precludes the complexity of the issue.

For me, it's a bit like the speed limit theory; if you want people to drive at 40 km p/h you need to set limits at 20 km p/h. Also, the argument fails to point out the vast differences between African nations. For example, trophy hunting to benefit conservation may be effective in Botswana where the country has been relatively stable for a long period of time. However, in neighbouring Zimbabwe the risk of corruption bringing about undesired results in more likely.

I read a short article from The Conversation on the issue that I have dug up to add to this topic. http://theconversation.com/trophy-hunti ... eads-87815

I know from my own experience that getting disaster relief to some parts of Africa is simple, while in other parts a large portion of funding goes to paying bribes to ensure the passage of food and medical assistance to those in need. Human life is cheap in places where people can and do die every day from something as simple as the water they drink.

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