STOP Shooting Endangered Black Rhinos

Donald Trump, President of the United States

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BACKGROUND

The US government has issued a permit to US trophy hunter Chris D. Peyerk of Shelby Township, Michigan who shot a Namibian black rhino for ‘sport’ to bring back its skin, skull and horn into the US.

Black rhinos are critically endangered. Just 5,000 remain in the wild.

It follows a case brought by trophy hunting lawyer John J Jackson, who runs an organisation called ‘Conservation Force’. Jackson is a former President of Safari Club International, the world’s largest trophy hunting group.

‘Conservation Force’ campaigns for hunters to bring home trophies of threatened species. It also lobbies for changes in the law to make it easier to hunt vulnerable species - including lions, leopards, cheetahs, elephants and polar bears, as well as rhinos.

It sued Delta airlines when they previously refused to carry a black rhino trophy. It also sued the state of New Jersey when it tried to stop hunting trophies of threatened species coming in through its air and sea ports.

Jackson has been on at least 38 elephant hunts alone. His trophy room includes the heads and bodies of giraffes, zebras, bears, buffaloes, cougars, leopards, rhinos, lions, wolves, and numerous species of deer and antelope. Several large elephant tusks form the centrepiece of his collection.

He has written the following about trophy hunting:

“Nothing has been so consistently fulfilling to me as my hunting.

“It has stirred an insatiable appetite for more. Without it I would somehow be incomplete.

“I can plainly see the African lion that has leaped into the air the moment its head snaps backward and explodes with smoke from my bullet.”

‘Conservation Force’ has made a number of donations to IUCN and has secured positions on key IUCN committees. Despite not being a scientist, Jackson has been a member of IUCN’s Lions specialist group.

IUCN, through it’s ‘Traffic’ initiative, lobbied CITES delegates to vote AGAINST the proposal to protect giraffes at the recent Geneva wildlife trade conference – as did Safari Club International. The Species Survival Network, an alliance of 80 conservation groups around the world, strongly supported the measure which was proposed by a number of African nations.

The conference also voted to double the number of black rhinos that can be shot by trophy hunters for so-called 'sport'. John Jackson and other ‘Conservation Force’ lobbyists were present at the CITES conference.

To: Donald Trump, President of the United States
From: [Your Name]

Dear Mr President

When US government officials lifted a ban on the import of elephant trophies from Zimbabwe and Zambia, you put a hold on the order.

You tweeted that the Interior Department ‘will be very hard pressed to change my mind that this horror show in any way helps conservation of elephants or any other animal’.

We agreed wholeheartedly with you then, Mr President.

We hope you will agree with us now that the decision by the Fish & Wildlife Service to allow a US citizen to import a trophy of a black rhino – one of the most endangered animals on earth – is perverse.

Killing animals just for pleasure is immoral. It goes against the American way. It has no place in a civilised society.

Nature and wildlife need to be preserved - not persecuted for ‘pleasure’.

Please put a stop to this permit.

Thank you.