CITES, the world’s biggest conference on wildlife trade, is happening. Get the details.

relay.nationalgeographic.com
By Dina Fine Maron By Rachel Fobar

Every three years, there’s a global meeting to talk about the international wildlife trade—worth billions of dollars annually. At issue is an overarching question: How to balance this international commerce—which includes exotic pets, furs, and timber—without driving species to extinction.

The meetings are convened by the members of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), a treaty enacted in 1975. (Learn more about the treaty here: CITES, explained.)

Among the matters the 183 members will address at the latest meeting—which runs from August 17 through August 28 in Geneva, Switzerland—are the future of the ivory trade, illegal killings of rhinos and the rhino horn trade, management of African elephant populations, and the booming exotic pet business.

Wildlife Watch will be closely tracking the conference. Find our stories from CITES here and read briefs below on this regularly updated news ticker. You can also follow our tweets at @Dina_Maron and @rfobarand @Rachael_Bale.

August 20—Black rhino trophy hunting in South Africa

Parties have voted to allow South Africa to increase its annual export quota for black rhino hunting trophies. The current quota allows for five adult male trophies, but the new quota will allow a number not exceeding half a percent of the country’s total black rhino population—a maximum of about 10 animals. Adult males will be targeted to protect breeding females.

South Africa argued that the money raised from trophy hunting helps support conservation. Black rhinos are threatened by poaching, but according to the conservation nonprofit Save the Rhino, populations in the country increased from about 800 in 1992 to more than 2,000 by the end of 2017.

Botswana, Zimbabwe, eSwatini (formerly Swaziland), the EU, and Canada also supported the measure.

This matter must now be confirmed or rejected at the plenary, at the end of the Conference of the Parties, when all appendix change proposals, resolutions, and decisions passed in committee are officially adopted.

-Rachel Fobar

August 18—Export of live, wild-caught elephants

In a surprise early vote, parties voted in committee to amend a resolution to limit the trade in live, wild-caught African elephants to range countries only. This issue has received international attention following the shipment of young elephants from Zimbabwe to China in 2015 and from eSwatini (formerly Swaziland) to U.S. zoos in 2016.

Zimbabwe, the U.S., and the European Union spoke against the move. “Live sales are part of our management tools,” the Zimbabwe delegate said, and those sales raise funds for conservation.

Kenya, Niger, and Burkina Faso spoke in support of it. “We all agree these are intelligent creatures with complex social links,” the Burkina Faso delegate said of elephants, arguing that they cannot thrive in captivity.

The European Union, which acts as a bloc but has 28 individual votes, asked for the vote to be postponed, but the chair rejected the call.

There were 46 yes votes and 18 no votes, with the European Union neither voting nor abstaining. Had they voted no, the resolution would not have passed. The proposal must now be confirmed or rejected at the plenary, which comes at the end of the Conference of the Parties and is where all appendix change proposals, resolutions, and decisions passed in committee are officially adopted. While many elephant campaigners were pleased at the show of support, they are concerned that the debate could be reopened at the plenary and that the EU parties would vote no, reversing today’s approval.
-Rachael Bale

August 16—Setting the scene

-Dina Fine Maron

Wildlife Watch is an investigative reporting project between National Geographic Society and National Geographic Partners focusing on wildlife crime and exploitation. Read more Wildlife Watch stories here, and learn more about National Geographic Society’s nonprofit mission at nationalgeographic.org. Send tips, feedback, and story ideas to ngwildlife@natgeo.com.

PUBLISHED August 17, 2019

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Take that you SCUMBAG!!!!

Petition: Urge Police to Catch Drunk Guy Who Climbed Onto a Giraffe at a Zoo!

onegreenplanet.org

By Sharon Vega
Some giraffe subspecies are endangered due to habitat loss, poaching, human-wildlife conflict and more. These wild animals suffer enough. They don’t belong in zoos. Yet many are forced to live there in confinement. One giraffe recently went through a terrible ordeal when a drunk guy in the zoo climbed on top of a fence and got on top of him. It was all caught on video. How and why was this allowed to happen? These wild animals are not even supposed to be there, and to top it all off, they aren’t being protected or guarded?

People who are reluctant to recognize the truth about zoos are probably unaware that animals in zoos suffer more than just being in captivity. They are subject to the behaviors of the human spectators around them. For instance, some zoos host parties and play loud music right next to the animal enclosures. This is completely unfamiliar to them and is terrifying and can even be damaging to their hearing or health. What’s worse is that when alcohol is served at zoos, there are cases of belligerent people not just putting themselves in danger but terrifying the animals by climbing into their enclosures or throwing things at the animals.

In the case of this giraffe, the man appears to have arrived drunk at the zoo. He was filmed by someone as he climbed a fence and then got on top of a giraffe and proceeded to actually ride the poor animal. This happened at the Shymkent Zoo in the city Shymkent in Kazakhstan, Central Asia. The zoo has over 1500 animals, including a herd of giraffes. If animals are going to be kept in captivity this way (which they shouldn’t), there should at least be security measures that keep the animals safe.

How was the drunk guy not stopped while attempting to climb the fence. He should never have been able to get on top of the giraffe. It’s a prime example of why animals shouldn’t be kept in captivity this way. Giraffes, like all wild animals, belong in the wild.

Apparently police are searching for the drunk guy in the video. Sign this petition to put pressure on the police to catch him. People have to know this is unacceptable behavior.

https://www.onegreenplanet.org/animalsandnature/petition-drunk-guy-climbed-giraffe-zoo/

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PETITION: Stop ‘Canned Hunts’ of Factory-Farmed Animals Killed for Trophies in S Africa

ladyfreethinker.org

PETITION TARGET: SA Minister of Environment, Forestry and Fisheries, Barbara Creecy

Canned hunting is a grotesque industry in which hunters pay to kill endangered creatures confined to fenced-in enclosures with no way of escape. Facilities force-breed animals, steal young from their mothers, raise them in appalling conditions and profit from hunters who kill the animals for fun.

This abhorrent practice exploits animals and abuses them from the day they are born to the day they are slaughtered by paying killers.

Raised in factory farms, these animals spend most of their lives in tiny, crowded cages, often without water or adequate nutrition. Malnourished and deprived of natural behaviors, their short lives end when they are put into a fenced area to be shot with a crossbow or shotgun. Animals may be baited or drugged to make them an easy target.

Lions are big business in this industry, particularly in South Africa. Cubs as young as three days old are stolen from their mothers, bottle-fed and used in fake “sanctuaries,” where naïve volunteers pay to care for them under the pretense of conservation. Lion walks and lion petting are further avenues to profit from their suffering.

In reality, these beautiful creatures are forced to live in filthy conditions and often fall ill due to poor nutrition and stress. Once older, they are violated through forced impregnation and eventually killed for paid ‘hunts’ — if they survive that long. Many also suffer severe illnesses from inbreeding.

South Africa has around 200 lion breeding facilities containing an estimated 6000 big cats. There are three times more lions in captivity in South Africa than in the wild. Tigers and other exotic animals also fall victim to this ruthless trade.

Canned hunting does not benefit conservation. It is purely a money-making endeavor that supports abusing and murdering majestic animals for a quick thrill.

Sign this petition urging South Africa’s Minister of Environment, Forestry, and Fisheries Barbara Creecy to call for a ban on all canned and captive hunting in South Africa, saving thousands of animals from needless torture and cowardly slaughter.

https://ladyfreethinker.org/sign-stop-cruel-canned-hunting-of-factory-farmed-exotic-animals/?utm_source=Newsletter&utm_medium=Email