ALDF Protests Government ProposalPosted on October 24, 2003
Hunters are anxious to begin killing endangered animals, like the cheetah. Now the government wants to let them.
(Washington, D.C.) On behalf of itself and seven other
organizations, ALDF has submitted comments to the U.S. Fish and
Wildlife Service (FWS) protesting proposed policy changes that would
strip endangered species of government protection. FWS wants to allow
the commercial exploitation of endangered species in other countries,
saying the only way to help these animals is to make them profitable.
If enacted, the new policy would allow American hunters to import
“trophies” (i.e., body parts) from endangered animals they’ve killed
abroad; allow circuses and zoos to capture rare Asian elephants to put
on display in the U.S.; allow the leather industry to import the skins
of the endangered Morelet’s crocodile; and even allow partial
resumption of the trade in elephant ivory.
“The Endangered Species Act was created because the free market
simply doesn’t protect endangered species. Strong government action was
needed,” says ALDF President Steve Ann Chambers. “Now FWS is saying
that to save these animals we have to allow people to make money from
their capture and killing. That’s not just illogical, it’s a betrayal
of everything the Endangered Species Act stands for.”
In its comments on the proposed changes, ALDF argued that the
new policy would encourage poaching, thin already dwindling animal
populations and condemn thousands of rare animals to death or
captivity, all while producing only nominal, difficult-to-track funds
for conservation programs.
“What the government is proposing would be, quite simply, a
disaster for endangered animals around the world,” says Chambers. “I
have no doubt that it would make it much, much harder for already
struggling species to survive.”
ALDF submitted its comments to FWS on behalf of the Chimpanzee
Collaboratory, Ape Alliance North America, the Center for Captive
Chimpanzee Care, the Doris Day Animal League, Friends of Washoe, the
Great Ape Project and the Jane Goodall Institute. FWS is now reviewing
the comments it received from ALDF and other interested parties and
will announce in the near future whether the policy changes will be
You can voice your opposition to the proposed changes by sending an e-mail to ManagementAuthority@fws.gov. You can also click here
to find the e-mail addresses of your representatives in Washington.
Write them to let them know you support the continued protection of
rare animals through the vigorous enforcement of the Endangered Species
To read ALDF’s comments on the rule change in their entirety, download this document. (PDF)