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Call for US and Europe to ban the import of hunting trophies

CAPE TOWN: The illegal hunt of Cecil, Zimbabwe's famous lion has focused the spotlight on the unethical practices within the hunting industry as more than 400,000 people have signed a global online Avaaz petition, calling for the US and Europe to ban the import of hunting trophies.

Call for US and Europe to ban the import of hunting trophiesThe petition comes after the shock illegal hunt of Zimbabwe's famous lion Cecil, who was collared and part of a study programme at the time of his killing in the Hwange National Park.

"We can't bring the majestic lion Cecil back, but we can get US and EU leaders to pass common-sense rules to protect the rest of the world's lions," Avaaz said in an email sent to its members.

"As concerned citizens deeply disturbed by the tragic killing of Cecil the lion, we urge you to act swiftly to stop the decline in lion populations across Africa. We call on you to ensure they are classified as an endangered species and ban the import of any hunting trophies that threaten the survival of these majestic animals."

Click here to see the petition.

The email petition is just one of a number of social media movements that have been launched since the American dentist Walter Palmer, responsible for killing Cecil as part of a professional hunt arranged through Bushman Safaris, made headlines across the globe.

The killing has been deemed an illegal act of poaching by the Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Management Authority (ZPWMA) since no permit was issued to Theo Bronchorst, the professional hunter who orchestrated the hunt, neither to the land owner of Antoinette farm, Honest Trymore Ndlovu. Both are facing criminal charges of poaching.

According to Avaaz, its database reaches an estimated 1.4% of the world's internet users and it is calling on its member to act on the "fleeting opportunity to save the world's lions" Cecil's death had created.

"Wealthy Americans and Europeans like him go to Africa and pay to hunt lions and other exotic animals for sport, and send their trophies home. If all of us act right now we can get the US and Europe to ban the import of trophies when they threaten the survival of these majestic animals," Avaaz stated on its website.

A number of prominent conservationists have also added their voice to the call for canned hunting practices to be reviewed.

Well-known primatologist, Jane Goodall, released an official statement expressing her 'repugnance for Pamler's cowardly act'.

"Only one good thing comes out of this - thousands of people have read the story and have also been shocked. Their eyes opened to the dark side of human nature. Surely they will now be more prepared to fight for the protection of wild animals and the wild places where they live. Therein lies the hope," Goodall said.

Source: Traveller24

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