Last week, Safari Club International (SCI) joined 35 other organizations representing millions of sportsmen and women across the country in a letter to both the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). This is in strong opposition to the recent petition by the Center for Biological Diversity and the Natural Resources Defense Council attempting to ban legal, regulated trade in wildlife.
These groups seek to exploit the tragedy of the Covid-19 pandemic to achieve their personal goal of shutting down the trade of nearly all mammals and birds—without scientific support, and at the expense of the countries and communities who rely on this trade. Make no mistake: this is a veiled attempt to shut down hunting here and abroad.
In response, SCI and the other organizations clearly lay out the facts: “In the United States we are fortunate to have the guiding principles of the North American Model of Wildlife Conservation to protect and promote the sustainable use of our fish and wildlife resources. The application of these principles is made possible through the American System of Conservation Funding, a “user pays – public benefits” system, through which sportsmen and women provide the necessary capital to implement professional, science-based fish and wildlife management throughout the nation.”
The letter goes on to detail the benefits of hunting overseas: “In the international arena, well-regulated hunting is often the primary driver for conservation funding, and in many instances is the only funding provided for wildlife management and anti-poaching efforts.”
Hunting both here and abroad is a proven conservation strategy and a key element in maintaining, and increasing, the world’s biodiversity. Without hunting, wildlife, habitat, and communities all stand to lose considerable benefits, with few other sources to replace them.
The USFWS and CDC must reject this dangerous petition and listen to the voice of science, conservationists, and hunters around the world. In addition to the above letter, SCI is pushing back with our own petition – add your name here to protect legal, regulated trade in wildlife. We need your help in protecting hunting rights around the world!