Target: Warren A. Sackman, III, President of Safari Club International Foundation
Goal: End all trophy hunting of endangered species and stop lobbying for legislation that would allow for increased trophy hunting.
Trophy hunting of wild animals, particularly in Africa, is being directed and encouraged by Safari Club International, an organization founded in the 1970s. Safari Club International (SCI) claims two goals: protecting hunters and conserving wildlife. While SCI has done some good in the past in conserving wildlife and taking an anti-poaching stance, the group is comprised of hunters and the primary purpose remains killing for sport and obtaining trophies of the animals’ bodies.
On a small scale, hunting even for sport is not going to dramatically alter or damage an ecosystem, but SCI is comprised of over 50,000 hunters in 180 regional chapters. Over 25,000 members met at a recent convention held annually where hunters display their trophies. A group of active hunters of this size will inevitably cause harm to virtually any ecosystem, especially as human growth continues to push back natural habitats for these animals into ever more confined areas of the globe and ever smaller populations.
This continued killing for the sake of killing is made even more disturbing by the gratuitous award system for kills. The animals’ bodies are measured and medals and awards given for the largest and most unique animals killed. This glorification of killing without purpose is damaging to these animals and at no real benefit to humankind either. Continued killing aimed directly at the largest and most majestic animals may also have the unintended evolutionary effect of reducing the average size of hunted animals in these wild populations and will mean future generations of conservationists will not be able to see or appreciate the full natural beauty of these animals alive today.
SCI has done damage to endangered species by lobbying Congress to allow for increased hunting of polar bears in the arctic, arguing that climate change wasn’t a threat to polar bear populations, and has been criticized by the Humane Society of the United States for encouraging hunting of leopards, elephants, rhinos, and endangered African antelopes. The SCI website brags that they have spent $140 million since 2000 lobbying in Washington. Please sign the petition below to demand reform and encourage greater protection for endangered species from trophy hunting and an end to this paid Congressional lobbying.
Dear Mr. Sackman,
While Safari Club International has done much good to encourage awareness and conservation of animals, it has also done too little to protect endangered species from trophy hunters and too much to try to decrease government protection when it is convenient for hunters. With that in mind, I write to you in the hopes that SCI can turn its conservation failures into an opportunity for greater animal protection in the future.
The SCI website boasts of having spent $140 million since 2000 alone on congressional lobbying. In the past, SCI has repeatedly lobbied against protections for polar bears, even denying climate change to do so, to name but one species. Imagine if that $140 million had been spent actually protecting the lives and well-being of these endangered creatures instead of paying lobbyists and representatives to eliminate their protections.
I am writing to ask that you encourage funding science-based conservation efforts instead of lobbying for decreased regulations in the future. The health of the animal populations is not only a practical concern, but also an ethical concern, and I hope with that in mind that you will push for the right decisions to be made in the future.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Rob Hooft