Our society created a legal system to resolve disputes and declare rights. While the system is designed to give humans an opportunity to be heard, it often neglects the lives of animals, especially wildlife. Friends of Animals seeks to utilize and develop laws in a way that offers animals representation too. Wildlife legal news covers stories from around the world about how the law is being used, or abused, to control the fate of human-wildlife interactions. It also contains updates on cases that Friends of Animals is pursuing.
Wildlife Law Program Press Releases
FoA’s Wildlife Law Program Project Update: African Wildlife Protection, Issue 1, June 2015
Friends of Animals (FoA), a U.S.-‐based, international animal advocacy organization, has a long history of working to protect wildlife native to Africa. Over the years, we have lobbied to strengthen international legal protections for Africa’s endangered wildlife, assisted in the reintroduction of native African species, and funded on-‐the-‐ground wildlife rehabilitation and recovery efforts. Our work is fueled by a vision of Africa with healthy wildlife populations that are free from human exploitation.
Still, one overarching barrier remains in place to protecting Africa’s animals—their commodification. Whether as food, pets, trophies, or artifacts (religious and cultural), African wildlife is being captured, butchered, or both, for export at an alarming rate. As a result, in recent years, FoA has turned its attention to the fact that importing countries, like the United States, are the biggest offenders when it comes to both legal and illegal wildlife trade. To protect Africa’s wildlife, it is essential that importing countries take steps to outlaw and end the demand for these animals within their own borders.
FoA’s recently established Wildlife Law Program intends to find new ways to use domestic laws, starting in the United States, to protect and liberate African wildlife that has already made it to the United States, and more importantly, to prevent exotic wildlife, and their parts, from getting to the United States in the first place. Our targets are the exotic sport-‐hunting and pet industries. First and foremost, we must ban all importation of sport-‐hunted endangered or threatened African wildlife into the United States within five years. Sport-‐hunting both reduces the stigma over killing and possession of these animals and encourages more poaching. Second, we must ban the gruesome pet trade of endangered or threatened African wildlife in the United States within 10 years. The pet trade has a devastating impact on individual animals, as well as ecosystems, throughout Africa.
To promote our work and find like-‐minded partners to assist us in achieving our goals, we have drafted this first ever African Wildlife Protection Update. The following pages provide a brief glance into our current projects in Africa. To learn more about Friends of Animals, please visit us at www.friendsofanimals.org.
Director, Wildlife Law Program
African Wildlife Coordinator
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