What is Sustainable Trophy Hunting (STH)?
The concept of STH allows trophy hunting but at limits it to a sustainable level where animals are given the time to recover and ensure the species are available for future generations. STH governs this through a market system similar to cap and trade or the Kyoto Protocol where the right to pollute the earth has a price tag. STH puts a price tag to each animal on this planet and hunters are sold licenses to hunt them based on the rarity of the species.
Just like cap and trade, countries wanting to emit more pollution may buy carbon credits to fund international development projects in countries that are reducing pollution on behalf of the purchasing nation, hunters wanting to own trophies of a more endangered species may pay more to hunt them. A rather capitalistic way to an environmental problem.
STH also claims that there are times where it is ok to kill certain predator species that are a threat to the ecosystem, it also allows individuals to go against the balance if they have enough money to buy their way through. Knowing that the need to hunt and the need to collect will always be present as it was a part of human culture, STH seeks to make a lot of money from this to develop communities and support programs.
Is Trophy Hunting every sustainable?
Know how it works, let's discuss about whether it is sustainable.
Ecologically yes but morally... no. From an ecological level, there are times where human intervention has prevented certain invasive species from becoming out of control. But when it comes to meaningless killing for fun, hunting makes little sense and provides little benefit to the ecosystem and developing communities.
Whose say is it that humans are more superior to animals and can 'sell' species off to collectors for money that usually benefits other humans not animals. There are also other issues with STH including the involvement of the underground world. By putting a price tag on each species, there are more incentives for poachers and gangs to bypass the legal the system and kill the world's most endangered species for ultrawealthy buyers who have a big ego and think nothing can stop him. Is it morally right to say that every animal can be killed for a price? What if that standard is applied to humans? Would you feel at ease?
Share your thoughts below
Watch Cecil's cousins in action (left). Video of ex-sniper from Austrailia turned animal guardian invited to address a theatre of audience at TEDx talks (Right).