Hunting is the practice of killing or trapping any living creature, or pursuing it with the intent of doing so.
Poaching has traditionally been defined as the illegal hunting, killing or capturing of wild animals.
Archaeologist Louis Binford criticised the idea that early hominids and early humans were hunters. On the basis of the analysis of the skeletal remains of the consumed animals, he concluded that hominids and early humans were mostly scavengers, not hunters, and this idea is popular among some archaeologists and paleoanthropologists. Robert Blumenschine proposed the idea of confrontational scavenging, which involves challenging and scaring off other predators after they have made a kill, which he suggests could have been the leading method of obtaining protein-rich meat by early humans. en.wikipedia.org
The practice of hunting is a violent, recreational activity that is as cruel as it is unnecessary. Legal hunters kill tens of millions every year, for each of those animals another is killed illegally, often leaving their orphaned young to starve and perish.
The delicate balance of ecosystems ensures their survival—if they are left unaltered. Natural predators help maintain this balance by killing only the sickest and weakest individuals. Hunters, however, kill any animal whose head they would like to hang over the fireplace—including large, healthy animals who are needed to keep the population strong. Elephant poaching is believed to have increased the number of tuskless animals in Africa, and in Canada, hunting has caused bighorn sheep’s horn size to fall by 25 percent in the last 40 years. www.peta.org
Canned hunting is the the hunting of wild animals, mostly Lions, which have been confined into an enclosure they can’t escape from. The ‘hunter’ feels that they have taken down a wild ‘dangerous’ animal, when in fact it was a fight that the poor, confused animal could never possibly win.
The animals are kept in enclosures and released for hunting while weeks old and, most important to trophy hunters, free of the facial scars they would likely gain in the wild.
It is sadly a flourishing industry in South Africa. ‘Hunters’ come from all over the world, but mainly from the USA. The animals concerned have often been hand-reared and are used to human contact, they have no fear of humans may approach expecting to receive food, instead they face a gun or a crossbow. They are bred to be killed and will have often been drugged beforehand, just to ensure an easy kill for the ‘brave hunter’.
Some supposed ‘lion sanctuaries’ are actually farming lion cubs, firstly to be used in ‘cub petting’ and then once they are older, to be used in Canned Hunting. Read more at www.cannedlion.org, www.bornfree.org.uk and www.humanesociety.org
Poaching is now at a crisis level, with an estimated 35,000 elephants and 1,000 rhinos killed each year. An elephant is killed every 15 minutes for its ivory and a rhino is slaughtered once every 9-11 hours for its horn. Over 30,000 African elephants were killed illegally in 2012, the largest number in 20 years (www.ryot.org). The known number of elephants in West Africa is now less than 7,000. In 2013, 1,004 rhinos were killed illegally in South Africa; increasing from 668 in 2012 and 448 in 2011. The majority of attacks have taken place in Kruger National Park; even with its park service using drones and helicopters to detect poachers (science.time.com).
A recent increase in the demand for elephant ivory China and the Far East is causing an alarming increase in the poaching of elephants, even in protected areas such as Burkina Faso.
Campaigners have warned that elephants and rhinos could become extinct within the next twenty years if there is not an immediate end to this barbaric trade.
The main trapping nations are the USA, Russia and Canada. Every year trappers kill around 10 million raccoons, coyotes, wolves, bobcats, opossums, nutria, beavers, otters and other fur-bearing animals. They use a variety of cruel traps that the American Veterinary Medical Association have condemned as inhumane. The most widely used is the steel-jaw trap. When an animal steps on the steel-jaw trap spring, it slams shut on their limb or paw causing excruciating pain. As the animal struggles the flesh tears and the trap cuts in, often down to the bone. Animals can remain struggling in agony for days before they either succumb to exhaustion, shock and exposure or are finished off by the returning trapper.
It is common for animals, in particular mothers anxious to return to their vulnerable young, to attempt to chew or twist off their trapped limbs.
Steel-jaw traps have been banned in 88 countries, including the European Union, and their use is banned or restricted in several U.S. states, including Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Rhode Island, and Washington.
The fur trade has tried to argue that drowning animals is humane, however horrific ‘research’ showed that beavers took around 9.5 minutes to drown, with one beaver taking 25 minutes to finally die.
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