Latest Lion Aid News
Thursday 8th December 2016
In the light of Oxford University's report to Defra to endorse the continued trophy hunting of wild lions, it is very important that the public's voice is now heard loud and clear. This, in fact, is the very best way to bring out a change in the current attitude of the UK Government towards lion conservation.
To this end, if you would like to see the UK ban the importation of lion trophies and to condemn the practice on the international stage, we would ask you to take the time to write to your local Member of Parliament (MP) and urge him or her to represent your views. You can find out who is your local MP and the address here.
Remember that you can send your MP a letter whether you voted for them or not.
For maximum effect, send the letter by post with your signature. MPs tend to ignore electronic mail as it could originate from anywhere.
But every posted letter has to be registered by the MP's office and acted on.
If (as is likely to happen), you get a standard, generalised reply assuring you that the UK Government has the matter in hand and is doing good things for lion conservation, don't leave it there. Please take the time to go back and say that you are not satisfied by this reply and would call on your MP to meet with you and answer your concerns in detail at their next "surgery" Don't worry, we will give you all the information you need to prepare you for such a meeting.
We have provided you with a template letter below to send to your MP in the first instance.
This work involves more effort than a simple FaceBook post but IT WILL WORK and much more effectively.
Lions cannot do this for themselves but you can really make a difference now.
Dear [fill in name of your MP by hand]:
I was extremely disappointed to hear a few days ago that Professor Macdonald of Oxford University proposed to DEFRA that lion trophy hunting could be beneficial to the survival of the species.
With only about 15,000 African lions left on the entire continent we need to be extremely careful of the additive mortality that sport hunting contributes to the decline of this most iconic of species.
Having read the report, I am not convinced that continued trophy hunting will in any way contribute to the survival of the species. While Macdonald sought to evaluate such hunting on a purely “scientific” basis, there is absolutely NO evidence that trophy hunting of lions is sustainable. Australia, France and the Netherlands have recently legislated to reject any lion trophy hunting imports and the USA has listed lions on their Endangered Species Act.
Macdonald calls for a reform of the trophy hunting industry to engender change. Such calls have been made for at least the past twenty years and have not been productive.
I would call on you, as your constituent, to reject the Oxford University report to DEFRA as providing any future basis to support continued lion trophy hunting by our Government.
Instead, I would call on you to urge the UK Government to immediately ban importation of lion hunting trophies and then to facilitate opportunities to discuss how the UK can better contribute to best practices to ensure the survival of a species so intimately involved with our culture and our conservation priorities.
Posted by Chris Macsween at 12:45
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