U.S. Congress - Ban trophy hunting imports and end elephant slaughter.
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U.S. Congress - Ban trophy hunting imports and end elephant slaughter. Support the CECIL and Protect Acts
The Botswana government announced it will restart elephant hunts this year. A quota has been issued of 272 killings starting in April and will go through September during their dry season when the bush is thinner and elephants are easier to locate.
Foreign hunters will be allowed to kill 202 of the elephants and 70 will be reserved for local people. Most of the hunters that go to southern Africa are from the U.S. The average cost for a foreign trophy hunter the right to shoot an elephant is anywhere between $21,000-$60,000 or more.
Now is the time to pressure the U.S. government to take action to prevent the pending elephant slaughter.
Sign this petition asking our members of Congress to support two bills that are moving against trophy hunting elephants from Botswana and ask for lawmakers to defund trophy hunting import permits sold here in America:
CECIL Act H.R. 2245; Conserving Ecosystems by Ceasing the Importation of Large Animal Trophies
This will restrict the import and export of trophies of any species listed under the Endangered Species Act (ESA).
Protect Act, H.R. 4804; Prohibiting Threatened and Endangered Creature Trophies
Prohibit trophy hunting of ESA species in the US and import of any trophy of a species listed under the ESA.
- Lastly there is an Appropriations Bill For Fiscal Year 2021
The appropriation bill is a spending bill that authorizes the expenditure of government funds. We would like to see language for the Appropriations Bill for Fiscal Year 2021 to defund U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s trophy import permits of elephants from Botswana.
To help make a bigger impact, you can call your House of Representative asking him/her to support the Cecil and Protect Acts as well as the Appropriations Bills for Fiscal Year 2021. To find your House of Representative, go to www.house.gov
How did we get here?
One hundred years ago, the global elephant population was approximately 3-5 million. After decades of poaching and hunting, the current elephant population is estimated at 415,000. Elephants are critically endangered and protections for them in certain regions, like Botswana, has recently diminished.
In 2014, the government of Botswana put a trophy hunting ban in place. Due to this ban, elephants from bordering countries such as Namibia and Angola came to Botswana seeking refuge. Today, one third of the African elephant population reside in Botswana.
In 2019, the government made another decision to lift the hunting ban on elephants. Last year, there were 358 elephant hunting permits allotted and a further 386 elephants were poached. Such a large- scale loss of bull elephants in what was once their greatest refuge is unsustainable.
Elephant hunting only hurts us in the big scheme of life. In fact, since the elephant is a keystone species that actually supports ecosystems, their sheer existence helps to maintain biodiversity that supports the health of our planet. We actually benefit from the elephants’ presence without even realizing it.
Elephants contribute more to the ecosystem per capita than we do. Elephants are known as the Gardeners of the Forest. Elephants spread the seeds from the plants they have eaten which helps to disperse the plant life to other areas. This new plant life gives off oxygen for us to breathe. Elephants dig water holes in dry river beds that other animals use as a water source as well as creating trails that serve as fire breakers.
To take this one step further on how detrimental commercial elephant hunting and poaching is, we are currently in the world’s sixth mass extinction. The first 5 mass extinctions were all-natural phenomena. This current extinction is almost exclusively due to humans. Dozens of species are going extinct every day and it is predicted by 2050, 30-50% of all species will be extinct. Losing species at this rate will break down ecosystems that we rely on for the health of the planet. This is another reason why it is critical we help conserve and protect the elephants and all wildlife.
Elephants also help the local economies through eco-tourism. According to an article by All Africa research indicates eco-tourism is a $2 billion-dollar industry and reintroducing hunting contributes to only 1.9% of tourism.
Stand with us to pressure the U.S. government to take action. Sign and share this petition to help end trophy hunting and protect elephants and other incredible wildlife.
With heartfelt gratitude,
Photo by James Hammond on Unsplash
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