The C.A.S.H. Courier Newsletter
Fall-Winter 2013 Issue
Poaching Is Terrorism
Reported by E.M. Fay
It is a compounded tragedy for wildlife
that the gruesome trade in body parts from brutally killed elephants,
rhinoceroses, lions, and other animals, has increased alarmingly since the
world entered into a perceived near-constant state of "terrorist activity."
In August, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton took a step in the
right direction regarding the illegal poaching of tens of thousands of
animals, most from the Continent of Africa, who are slaughtered annually for
profit. She brought some attention to a problem which until now has been
largely ignored by most political leaders, to the point that whole
populations of animals are endangered.
Clinton asked that more
money be devoted to training and equipping anti-poaching personnel in the
countries most affected by the deadly trade. There is no doubt as to the
seriousness of the situation for wildlife. The Wildlife Conservation
Society estimates that at least 35,000 African elephants were killed
"illegally" last year alone. At this rate, there will be none left on
the Continent in the near future, as the general population is already down
from 1.2 million in 1980 to only 420,000 currently.
Although there has
been trade in elephants' tusks, lion carcasses, and numerous other
profit-motivated wildlife killings for centuries, the present-day terrorist
connection is an additional cause for alarm. In the case of just one
terrorist group, reports have given figures as high as $200,000 - $600,000
monthly profit in ivory poaching alone. Other reports show that tusks
have been traded for arms, food, even medical supplies.
As reported in
the New York Times, then-Secretary Clinton instituted a study to determine
the connection between trafficking in animal parts and American security.
And since leaving office, she has continued to work on the problem, making
efforts to raise awareness, and asking that world leaders join her.
For this admirable project to have any chance of succeeding, a broad
base of international concern and cooperation is required. Involvement
is needed from both governmental and non-governmental bodies, multi-lateral
conservation groups, and technology experts. Only by enlisting such
diverse players can the seriously threatened animals of Africa or elsewhere
have any chance of surviving the ongoing decimation of their numbers.
Sept. 26th, Clinton announced that a consortium of 16 NGOs and African
nations would collaborate with the Clinton Global Initiative to protect the
fast-decreasing elephant and rhinoceros populations with a three-year
anti-poaching program. $80 million has been pledged to the effort so
far. Hiring more wildlife park guards to protect animals in the first
place is one part of the plan, as well as more effective prosecution of
At least as important as those factors is the need to
curtail the demand, particularly in China, for ivory products.
the Huffington Post, Clinton said, "Unless the killing stops, African forest
elephants are expected to be extinct within 10 years. I can't even grasp
what a great disaster this is ecologically, but also for everyone who shares
She added, "[This] seems like such a rebuke to our own
We ask that our readers call and write the State Department and the
White House to urge that they continue this effort to protect wild animals
worldwide, whether to reduce the income of terrorists or for loftier ideals.
U.S. Dept. of State
Main Phone# 202-647-4000
U.S. Department of State
2201 C Street NW
Washington, DC 20520
The White House comment line:
Go on to Beyond Cruel: Dolphins Killed for Shark Bait
Fall-Winter 2013 Table of Contents
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