Programmes manager at the Born Free Foundation in the UK
Mark Jones is a veterinarian with experience in wildlife rescue, rehabilitation and management. He is Programmes Manager at the Born Free Foundation in the UK, working principally on wildlife trade issues.
While there are people willing to pay large amounts of money for the 'privilege' of killing a wild animal, bringing an end to the practice will be an uphill struggle. After all, money talks. However, as our knowledge of the impacts trophy hunting on individual wild animals and the communities to which they belong expands, the pressure on authorities around the world to increase transparency and regulation will continue to grow.
As we leave Johannesburg and look towards the 18th CITES Conference in Sri Lanka in 2019, the Born Free team will continue to work with governments and all the stakeholders to ensure this complex but vital process continues and that the positive momentum achieved over the last two weeks is maintained.
Before any wildlife intervention is authorised, particularly one which will see a protected native species being blown to pieces in large numbers by gunmen at night in our countryside, there are surely a number of basic criteria that should be satisfied.
Most people know about the terrible declines in many of Africa's animals, particularly elephants. What many people don't realise is that Lions, arguably the most iconic of Africa's predators, are also in real trouble.
We cannot continue to play our precious indigenous species off against each other. If wild animals are survive and thrive, we need to develop a much better understanding of the impacts our activities have on the species we share the land with...
Figures released by DEFRA on 16th December reveal that almost 1500 badgers were shot under license in the cull zones in Gloucestershire, Somerset and Dorset in 2015. This brings the total number of badgers killed to almost 4,000 over the past three years, at a cost to the taxpayer that's probably in the region of £25 million.
The weight of scientific evidence and expert opinion suggests that badger culling should play no part in bovine TB control policy. Killing badgers is nothing more than an ineffective, inhumane and expensive distraction, and is proving to be a public relations disaster for government and for the farming industry. Unfortunately, it seems that scientific evidence, expert and public opinion counts for little.
03/09/2015 17:28 BST
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