Total Ivory Trade Ban Futile

Discussion in 'News & Announcements' started by AfricaHunting.com, Oct 29, 2009.

  1. AfricaHunting.com

    AfricaHunting.com FOUNDER AH Ambassador

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    Total Ivory Trade Ban Futile

    Those pushing for the ban have two motives, one rational and one irrational.

    The rational motive comes from African countries hard hit by elephant poaching, especially Kenya and Chad. The irrational motive is held by ignorant urban people in the First World who think any hunting of any wild animal is so terrible that it must be banned.

    The rational African countries acknowledge that other countries in Africa, especially Southern Africa, have growing populations of elephants and, other things being equal, would probably agree that these elephants could be hunted and the ivory traded.

    Their argument in favour of a total ban arises from their fears that illegal poached ivory from their declining herds could be mixed with legal Southern African ivory, encouraging poachers to continue hunting their elephant. So the only way they see of preventing this is to have no legal ivory: all ivory offered for sale will be illegal and criminal cases will, as a result, be very simple, they think.

    Unfortunately, such simplicity is unlikely. First, there is a lot of legal ivory and legal ivory carvings in private hands around the world. The holders of this private property will demand, in their courts if necessary, that their property rights are respected. So there will continue to be some sort of legal ivory trade.

    Secondly, a total ban is not a certain answer when dealing with poachers, as the near destruction of the world's rhino shows. There are far too many people prepared to pay vast sums for poached animal products.

    We believe that stringently controlled legal sales of ivory from Southern Africa, coupled with strong anti-poaching measures in threatened countries, will help push down prices of ivory and make poaching unviable. In fact, dumping all stockpiles of African ivory in one fell swoop on world markets would probably so depress ivory prices that poaching will be eliminated totally for several years.

    The irrational arguments against elephant hunting come largely from people who have a very peculiar attitude towards animals. They are quite happy to eat meat, wear leather shoes, and go fishing at weekends. But they see Africa as one great theme park for their enjoyment, and the people who live there are just a nuisance.

    They have exterminated most of the wildlife, and all or almost all the dangerous wildlife, in their own countries, but demand that scores of Africans must die every year so they can keep a theme park.

    If they were that serious about "nature", they would demand that the wolf and wild bull were reintroduced into Britain or Holland, and large chunks of Western Europe were replanted with temperate forests. They would demand wolves and large wild cats were moved into the Atlantic seaboard states of the US. They would press for alligators to be put back in the rivers of the southern states. They would argue that if a few children were killed each year, that was a reasonable price to pay for living in a natural theme park.

    Of course, they will never argue that; they will keep the small cuddly harmless animals but let others have the dangerous ones.

    They are also, and this is a more serious indictment, totally ignorant of ecology despite what they think is their "environmental awareness".

    The African elephant, without predation, will breed so fast that within 20 years vast areas will become a near desert with total destruction of the habitat elephant and most other animals need. This will be followed by a huge population crash in wildlife.

    Such a crash has happened before, in Zimbabwe, in what ecologists still refer to as the Sebungwe Disaster. All hunting in a vast area to the south of what is now Lake Kariba was banned for 40 years after the wildlife was largely shot out in the early 1900s in a futile attempt to control tsetse fly. And in the 1950s the elephant herd reached such a size that the forests were largely destroyed and the ecology seriously degraded. Tens of thousands of animals starved to death.

    For more than two million years, the African elephant has had just two predators: the now-extinct Homo Erectus and then Homo Sapiens. Its breeding cycle has evolved to cope with that predation. So unless humans shoot elephants, they will breed themselves to near extinction.

    An ivory ban will not stop hunting of elephant. They will have to be culled, at vast expense, with the enthusiastic support of the communities who live and die with elephants on their doorstep.

    Yet, if there was controlled commercial hunting and controlled ivory sales, those communities would be far more willing to "farm" elephants, preserving the herds while making a decent living off the culls. Right now their attitude is like that of pre-18th century people in Britain when it came to wolves, just eliminate the lot so life is a lot safer.

    We sympathise with Kenya and Chad, but think they have not thought the matter out fully. We cannot sympathise with their allies in Europe and North America; they have no reasoning.

    Poaching of elephant has to cease, but we have to find other more effective ways than a total ivory ban.

    Source: The Southern Times
  2. Calhoun

    Calhoun AH Enthusiast

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    ...i agree there has to be a market for ivory. Legal hunting of animals should allow the sale of ivory. It's to bad Kenya & Chad don't get on the band wagon & do something about their poaching problems instead of sitting there & crying about it!! I'm not sure if flooding the market with ivory would be the thing to do ,but it might be a solution to poaching! Maybe??
    >>> I wish those tree huggers were shown some of the destruction done by Elephants when hunting is not allowed - Maybe & just maybe they would get their heads on straight and see the value of hunting!! If the U.S. media would show that for once instead of their slant against hunting & guns & maybe these urban people would see what we have been taught many years ago by our fore Fathers!

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