Target: Daniel M. Ashe, Director at U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
Goal: Stop issuing trophy hunting importation permits for endangered animals.
Counter to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s (FWS) public commitment to the support and restoration of the planet’s endangered species, the service has granted trophy importation permits to two American citizens for critically endangered black rhinos from Namibia. Such an action sets a dangerous precedent for future hunting of endangered wildlife by effectively condoning the animals’ killings. Sign this petition condemning the actions of the FWS and demanding that no more trophy importation permits be granted for endangered species.
Rhino poaching has seen a steady increase in recent years with over 1,200 rhinos poached in 2014, 24 of them in Namibia alone, reports the Humane Society of the United States. Thanks to conservation efforts, black rhino numbers have doubled in the past 20 years after reaching their lowest point of 2,480, but are still many years from the estimated 100,000 that roamed the earth at the beginning of the 20th century and much work remains to ensure their survival.
Trophy hunting is itself a controversial practice—even for plentiful species—as the game to be hunted is determined by its novelty, fierceness, or iconic nature, and often is not used for its meat but as an ornament. To hunt endangered species not for survival but to take home as a reward for a well-played “game” is unconscionable. The fact that the U.S. agency that controls the country’s dealings with wildlife sanctions this type of hunting is both deplorable and counterintuitive.
Without the support of organizations like the FWS, the increasingly optimistic future of these animals is in jeopardy. Sign this petition urging the FWS to refrain from issuing import permits for critically endangered victims of trophy hunting, whatever the nationality of the hunter.
Dear Director Ashe,
The FWS is responsible for the way the U.S. conducts its interactions with wildlife. Your organization is expected to protect wildlife. That’s why the FWS’ decision to issue import permits to two American hunters for the trophy kills of critically endangered black rhinos comes as such a shock to many. Without help from agencies like the FWS, these animals do not stand a chance. Trophy hunting is sport at best and the death of animals threatened by extinction is no game.
I urge you to immediately halt these import permits and to discontinue the policy of issuing trophy import permits for endangered species in the future.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Matthew Field via Wikimedia Commons