BREAKING – In an April 27, 2016 press release, Born Free USA and Born Free Foundation CEO Adam Roberts, along with Wayne Pacell of the Humane Society of the United States, announced they are going head-to-head with proponents of ‘hunting as conservation’, to dispel myths and intentional misinformation which aims to elevate trophy hunting from a blood sport to noble wildlife conservation and management.
“On May 4, 2016, Adam M. Roberts, CEO of Born Free USA and Born Free Foundation, will team up with Wayne Pacelle, President and CEO of The Humane Society of the United States, for a passionate and skilled Intelligence Squared U.S. Debate entitled “Hunters Conserve Wildlife.” They will face Field & Stream magazine’s Anthony Licota and Humanitarian Operations Protecting Elephants’ Catherine Semcer.” The debate on whether hunting furthers conservation or more exploitation, human influence and commodifying of non-human life has been going on for decades and heating up recently, especially with the nearly universally-condemned murder of the beloved black-maned lion Cecil. Since then the hunting lobby has been scrambling to redeem its bruised reputation, and reputable conservation organizations have taken the opportunity to educate the public about how hunting actually imperils wilderness and wildlife populations.
According to Roberts, “It is going to be a thrilling debate, comprehensively dismantling the hunters’ argument and laying bare the lie that hunters conserve wildlife. Politically, economically, and biologically, it is just not true. And, in one session, Wayne (Pacelle) and I will have our say and win the day.”
“It is a lie that hunters conserve wildlife.” – Adam M. Roberts
Armed with decades of records and facts, opponents of trophy hunting will reveal the latest findings. “Studies show that hunting puts intense additional pressure on species that are already besieged by risks including habitat loss. Economically, hunting actually only generates a very small percentage of national GDP, where non-consumptive eco-tourism revenue generates the vast majority of national tourism income. And, where hunting profits are generated, only an estimated 3% trickles down to local economies, reports Born Free USA.” Roberts adds, “We urge the public to listen to the hard facts — for animals, for conservation, for our planet. Hunting must end, and we encourage people to cast a vote before our debate on May 4.”
These are some of the topics scheduled to be discussed:
- Endangered animals are already at risk of extinction by poachers and natural predators; legalized hunting exacerbates the problem.
- Hunting alters the natural composition of animal herds and, even when population sizes are maintained, negatively impacts their long-term survival
- The global market around trophy hunting is often corrupt and funds raised from hunters are often misappropriated.
- Domestic and international regulatory agencies that oversee hunters are often pressured to set quotas based on industry demands rather than animal wellbeing.
- Some pro-hunting nations in Africa have high levels of corruption, putting wildlife at risk to enrich the coffers of a few.
This promises to be a rousing event – Online debates (arguments) tend to get very heated, sometimes ending in standoffs or threats on both sides. One hopes that human society can advance to the point where a being (or natural / wild ) place, has a legal, as well as inherent, right to exist and that we must not just allow but make room for living nations other than our own human one to thrive. This is something that’s increasingly critical, especially since robust, immaculately guarded biological diversity and a dynamic, fully functioning, interconnected and interdependent planetary ecosystem are really our only hope for the future.
The debate will be held Wednesday, May 4, 2016 (reception at 5:45PM; debate 6:45PM to 8:15PM) at New York’s Kaufman Center (129 W. 67th Street, New York City) and stream live online. For tickets to the live event, visit www.intelligencesquaredus.org/.
Vote here before the debate.
*Updated with new llink