Outlaw game hunting in Africa

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A study published in 2018 has found that human driven extinction of mammals is now outpacing evolution. It would take up to 5 million years for these mammal species to redress the balance to global biodiversity.

Some humans are compounding this worrying level of extinction by destroying habitats and poaching rare animals. In many parts of Africa game/trophy hunting is still legal, with companies like Omujuve Hunting Safaris - based in Namibia, given permisson by its governmemt to organise safari tours where big game animals are killed for sport by 'trophy' hunting tourists. This has indelible impact on the local ecosystem, with further resounding impact on global biodiversity. Moreover, contrary to the myths perpetuated by hunting safaris companies, who claim that game hunting is actually beneficial to local economy, local people rarely benefit from trophy hunting tourism.

African lion numbers have halved in the last twenty years, with estimates that only 24,000 remain in the wild. There are approximately a little over 600,000 African elephants accounted for, with these mammals particularly vulnerable due to poaching and loss of habitat. Black rhinoceros numbers stand at only 3,500, their small population a direct result of the mammal being poached for their horns. These statistics are less than the tip of an iceberg when we look at biodiversity, particularly in Southern Africa.

Previously, petitions have requested that the UN ban trophy hunting or that America (where most trophy hunters hail from) ban international travel to hunt for sport, but African governments are not passive and are the bodies which legalise the trophy hunting tourism that allows game hunters to kill without consequence. It is time to put pressure on African governments to completely outlaw game hunting and stop Western tourists from coming into African countries to destroy their environment by killing endangered species and other animals.

Though many of us cannot begin to understand what it is like to share your habitat with a dangerous/wild animal, and we do need to find a way to peacefully coexist, allowing game hunters to come into parts of Africa to so fruitlessly kill these animals for 'sport' does little to help. If, like many hunting safaris companies so claim when justifying their existence, game hunting helps control animal population number and contributes to conservation through the economic benefits provided by game hunting tourism, then it is time African governments find another way to reach these objectives. The trauma these animals experience and the irreparable damage placed on the earth's ecosystem needs to end by holding African governmemts accountable for their culpability in game hunting tourism.

We are urging African governments and the African Union to bring about this change and find real solutions, by banning game hunting tourism and making it a punishable offence.



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