US tax money for butchering African wildlife

This video is about canned hunting at shooting preserves in the USA.

From Wildlife Extra:

The fight against canned hunting in Kenya

Chris Mercer has battled for a long time against trophy hunting – but he never expected to have to take on the sponsorship might of a US foreign aid agency…

June 2011: Delegates at a conference in Kenya that were discussing whether to allow trophy hunting, Chris Mercer shocked experts with a graphic portrayal of what he has dubbed ‘environmental terrorism’. It was enough to ensure that – for now, at least – Kenya will continue its ban. But even with this victory, he remains horrified by the fact that the conference was sponsored by a US foreign aid agency. Here he tells of his experience…

ECO TERRORISM: Trophy hunting would only add to the considerable threats faced by Kenya’s wildlife

Hunting, along with dealing in wildlife trophies, has been banned in Kenya since 1977. Trophy hunting was accurately described by the new Kenyan government as ‘a barbaric relic of colonialism.’ Unfortunately, other assaults on wildlife have been at work.

Human-animal conflict

A wave of migration from strife-torn Somalia and Sudan has aggravated the human over-population. The Kenyan birth rate is among the highest in the world. The population has risen from five million in 1946 to 30 million in 2006. This has resulted in massive human encroachment into range land areas which surround the game parks and that in turn causes human-animal conflict and the snaring of wildlife on an unimaginable scale.

Poaching is completely out of control

Kenya’s wildlife has declined more than 40 per cent in general terms in the last few years with population numbers of species such as buffalo down by more than 90 per cent. Roan Antelope are down to 900 (from an estimated 20,000.)

Photographer Rob Carr Hartley believes that within a few years Tsavo West National Park may be denuded of its wildlife. Poaching is completely out of control. Deforestation in all six watershed areas of Kenya is causing the rivers to dry up and even some lakes and rivers such as the Mara, are expected to run dry soon. Kenyan wildlife is in deep trouble.

Trophy hunting could be described as environmental terrorism

With wildlife woes of such magnitude, adding hunting pressures will simply aggravate the problems, and could properly be described as environmental terrorism.

In 2004 a lavishly financed campaign by Safari Club International involved flying Kenyan conservationists and officials to exclusive, elite hunting farms in South Africa and Zimbabwe in order to persuade the Kenyan government to resume trophy hunting. The President decided to refer the hunting issue to a national public participation process, starting with a Wildlife Symposium, which took place in September 2006. The government appointed a steering committee, who asked me to attend, as I have campaigned against canned hunting for years.

Hunting conference sponsored by USAID

The reason for holding the symposium was to test Kenyan public opinion on the issue. However the hunting industry never sleeps and the conference was sponsored by USAID, an American Foreign Aid agency with close links to Safari Club International, and greatly involved in using U.S taxpayer’s funds to benefit the hunting fraternity through schemes such as the notorious Campfire programme in Zimbabwe.

American tax funds used to promote lion hunts

The incontestable fact is that American tax funds were used to finance an expensive international conference in Nairobi whose sole relevance to Americans was to enable the trophy hunters to devastate wild lion prides and other animals in East Africa – for fun.

The Symposium itself was a great success. It was attended by about 160 people and included the director of Kenya Wildlife Services, members of parliament, and other dignitaries. It was jam-packed for both days by everyone who was anyone in wildlife conservation.

It was mid-afternoon before I got up to speak and show my presentation. There were gasps of shock from the audience as the first videos showed a poor lioness being shot out of a tree with an arrow and a wounded lion charging a hail of bullets from a mob of hunters. When I followed this by explaining the colonial aspects of hunting there were spontaneous cheers from many delegates. The sponsors looked shocked.

Ecotourism offers much greater benefits

The conference was not playing out as planned. The meeting became intense. As I explained how hunting propaganda deceives the unwary, with video footage for visuals, the symposium became noisy, with loud cheering for each point made. Then I got onto the Snap or Snipe statistics, published in Africa Geographic magazine and based on Ian Michler’s research, which show how poorly revenue from hunting benefits the country, when compared with that from eco-tourism.

After my presentation, the expression on the faces of the USAID organisers said it all – they were visibly glum and looking shell-shocked.

Eventually, the Kenyan government decided against the hunters. But I am sure that Safari Club International, and its ally in the American government (USAID), will do all in their power to expand and maintain their killing fields in Africa.

Chris Mercer is an advocate, who practised law in Zimbabwe and Botswana and now lives in South Africa.



Thank God for people like Chris Mercer. Transparency on how Foreign Aid is spent in these countries would go a long way to stop wasteful spending. The Americans already have canned hunting in the States – using in some cases, hand reared and therefore tame animals for this deplorable activity. The richer yanks just want to come to Africa just to say that they were on a ‘wildlife hunt’ in Africa. I would like to see their mug shots posted on the internet for all to see. At least then, the rest of us can take pot shots at them and see how ‘big’ they feel after that onslaught.

Posted by: Jill Robinson | 17 Jun 2011 14:22:28

Scientists cast doubt on North America’s hunting based conservation: here.

Entire pride of desert lions wiped out by hunting and poison: here.

There are many causes for this huge decline in African lions but Lionaid consider that lion sport hunting is a hugely significant additive source of mortality that needs to be immediately stopped before we can turn our attention to any other big issues that have caused declines. LionAid is a small but very effective charity: here.

Chinese authorities have issued two hunting permits to a group of seven American tourists headed to Qinghai province to stalk protected Bharal blue sheep and Tibetan Gazelles: here.

300 baboons killed by South Africa timber industry so far in 2011: here.

THE NAMIBIAN trophy hunting sector has urged government to adopt a zero tolerance stance towards illegal and unethical hunting in the country: here.

October 2011. Humane Society International has called for an immediate moratorium on trophy hunting of rhinos in South Africa to help save the species. The call comes as South Africa’s public consultation on aspects of its rhino conservation policy draws to a close. Legal trophy hunting is being used by criminals to facilitate the illegal but lucrative trade in rhino horn for the Chinese medicine market: here.

Zimbabwe wildlife news – not good: here.

August 2011: The survival of the forest elephants of Central Africa depends on limiting human access to rainforests, according to new Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) research: here.

Nature’s 10 best animal dads: here.

South Africa, March 2012. The lions released into Karoo National Park in November 2010 have adapted well to their new home and are in excellent condition. Both Park rangers and visitors have reported sightings of the lions at various areas in the Park over the past year and the lions have definitely brought a new aspect to wildlife viewing in the Great Karoo: here.

5 thoughts on “US tax money for butchering African wildlife

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