Save the Beasts: It Goes Deeper than Melissa Bachman

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We take a break from our normal Mix Monday segment to share a post from a friend of the site on a subject close to our hearts.  Megan Schmith first came across the petition against hunter Melissa Bachman on a Facebook Post by Jonny White of Art Department.  It prompted her to do some research into the subject, and it’s not surprising that the issue goes much deeper than just one hunter.

There is an ongoing effort in the form of a petition to ban a woman from entering South Africa due to the heinous nature of her game hunting and the even more offensive pictures she has posted of herself smiling over the corpses of some of the worlds most beautiful and majestic creatures.  The sad fact is that no matter how offensive these actions are, they are most likely legal and part of the business of sport hunting in Africa.

This type of hunting is commonly justified as a way to generate money to prevent the larger issue of illegal poaching.  These “tourist-hunters” can pay from $10,000 to $50,000 for the opportunity to hunt big game, and it is claimed that this money is used to bolster efforts to eradicate poaching.  The reality is that promoting sport or canned hunting has not proven to be more effective in generating revenue than safaris and other more conservation minded tourist activities.  In fact, increasing the circulation of game trophies can drive up demand for said trophies and further incent poachers to kill endangered animals like elephants, rhinos, and lions just to name a few.  Additionally, it has been documented that sport hunting in Africa is plagued by corruption, inadequate regulation, and an inability to accurately census animals for quota creation.

The real problem here is demand.  If there was no demand for the trophies there would be no industry.  While it is important to sign this petition, it is equally important to make this practice illegal by supporting organizations like The League Against Cruel Sports, a group dedicated to protecting wildlife and eradicating this deplorable practice, while also supporting alternative funding sources and strategies for the elimination of poaching.



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