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How do you view trophy hunting (poll)

Discussion in 'Wildlife & Nature Conservation' started by Onychorhynchus coronatus, 7 Jan 2021.

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Which of the following statements best describes your view on the topic of trophy hunting ?

Poll closed 22 Jan 2021.
  1. I'm in favour of trophy hunting

    10.0%
  2. I am against the practice of trophy hunting

    50.0%
  3. I can see both sides of the argument

    30.0%
  4. I am undecided on the issue of trophy hunting

    5.0%
  5. None of the above

    5.0%
  1. Onychorhynchus coronatus

    Onychorhynchus coronatus Well-Known Member

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    The topic of trophy hunting is highly contested, divisive and emotive issue within conservation.

    Some conservationists claim that well managed trophy hunting can be of value to wildlife conservation through bringing much needed economic capital to countries which can be reinvested in ecosystem conservation and facilitate the valuation of wildlife by local communities / sustainable development.

    Other conservationists argue that trophy hunting cannot be justified on moral / ethical grounds due to the suffering caused to animals, that it has ecological and evolutionary consequences through the removal of "good genes" , that it is elitist and a legacy of colonialism and that it can be linked to poaching.

    I thought I would do little social experiment here on zoochat with this poll in which zoochatters can vote for their stance on this subject.

    So what will your vote on the issue of trophy hunting be ?


    Please also feel free to write comments regarding the rationale behind why you made the choice.
     
  2. Rayane

    Rayane Well-Known Member

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    I am wondering how one can kill an animal in order to only have a trophy of it, but I also remember how fascinated I was, as a kid, when I saw taxidermy work. I used to have a Chamois head my dad found on a market in my room and I still have a few porcupine quils somewhere.

    I think it is not a question of being in favor or against, a discussion must be created with hunters. Many of them actually hunt on game farms, which is not much better but at least it's "regulated".
    Many hunters in Europe who hunt for trophies are actually needed, wild boars are a problem in some areas.

    Of course for many, it is a question of heritage, and while I can tolerate and even maybe begin to understand why one would want to shoot a deer to have the antlers or whatever, there is one style of hunting I trully hate, and it's what is called in french as chasse à courre, basically hunting with hounds in order to make the animal tired. I don't understand the point of it, you want to kill it? All right, just do it.

    There is also some kind of legacy of colonialism, mostly because some people only go to Africa to kill a few animals, and then come back to their country, like its their garden.
    I believe many years ago, some native tribes in Brazil were shot by a few rich psychopaths riding helicopters over the forest. Not sure if it's true but I know I've heard of that story a few times.
     
  3. birdsandbats

    birdsandbats Well-Known Member

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    I don't understand why hunters would want to shoot something only to have it as a trophy but I do respect it when used as a tool in conservation.
     
  4. Onychorhynchus coronatus

    Onychorhynchus coronatus Well-Known Member

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    Yes, I agree with you that it is a discussion that has to be had openly and with a view to the pros and cons of both sides of the argument. You are right that within Europe there is a need to control prey species such as deer and wild boar and that either partially or wholely (in the case of the UK) this can be done through hunting.

    However, might it be argued that what is actually required in Europe is the return of apex predators such as the grey wolf and brown bear that can better regulate these prey populations than any human hunter ever could ?

    I don't know how I feel about the issue and I'm generally quite pleased / thankful that it is a phenomenon that is for the most part restricted to Africa, parts of Asia and North America and not really within South America.

    I don't personally feel interested in trophy hunting (though subsistence hunting and hunting of invasive species do interest me) and similarly I wonder how someone could claim to love a species and yet also gain pleasure from killing it. The historic connection of this practice to colonialism and really disastrous fortress style conservation too is quite a dark, unsettling and in some cases vile one.

    Like you I do think that taxidermy is an art form and I have enjoyed visiting museums such as Natural History Museum, American Museum of Natural History, Grande Galerie de l'Évolution, Tring museum of Natural history and the Powell cotton museum whose collections have been made through history scientific collection and trophy hunting.

    In the past I've had some civil but awkward conversations with trophy hunters who have shot lions, polar and brown bears, jaguar, puma, deer, big horn sheep etc. Ultimately these were interesting but unproductive and uncomfortable conversations.

    Moreover, I'm a big fan of the literature of Ernest Hemmingway who was an avid game hunter and somewhat paradoxically I have read and found interesting books of his such as "The Green Hills of Africa" about his big game hunting.

    So I can't really say I am definitively Pro or Anti trophy hunting but rather that I am cynical about it as a practice and its value but recognise the need for discussion and the possibility that it could possibly benefit conservation.
     
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  5. amur leopard

    amur leopard Well-Known Member

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    I am most ardently opposed to trophy hunting's close cousin, canned hunting, but I am still absolutely against trophy hunting as a practice and as an industry.

    The only points in its favour are as follows. The money spent to kill the animal is injected into conservation. Well firstly, this is often not the case. Many of the companies that are in the business have no interest in conservation beyond making sure that there is enough big game for their visitors to 'hunt'. Also as good as no money is recycled back into the local population, which is now fairly common practice for touring companies.

    What are the reasons for doing this nowadays? In the days of Hemingway, these big game hunters commanded some respect from others because their acts, while cruel and devastating to certain species (not least the Quagga), did involve an element of risk. They shot with inaccurate rifles without scopes and often without protection from the 'target'. Now, however, the practice, to me, is synonymous with cowardice - someone trying to prove their bravery/recklessness and instead proving that they are a disgusting individual. Nowadays, the 'hunters' are covered and protected in case they miss and shot with highly accurate scoped rifles or crossbows. The perceived bravery and masculinity that may have come with performing such an act a century ago is long gone. When people see a skin or a pair of horns in a house the common reaction is now one of disgust and disdain, and rightly so.

    Canned hunting is even worse. The 'prey' have nowhere to go and are bred for the sole purpose of being shot and serving as an impressive adornment far away in somebody's house. When their day comes, they are forced out into a small, bare paddock. The 'hunter' stands in a secure shed and shoots the utterly defenceless animal, taking home a skin or a head.

    And what comes of this barbaric act? Only adrenaline and the false impression of having proven oneself against a wild beast.
     
  6. Onychorhynchus coronatus

    Onychorhynchus coronatus Well-Known Member

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    Let me be clear, I wasn't arguing that money derived from trophy hunting is injected into conservation because as far as I am aware there is still a huge and very ferocious debate surrounding that claim.

    I have seen both compelling evidence presented that suggests it does support conservation and evidence that suggests that it detracts from effective conservation.

    I personally do not have any strong stance either for or against trophy hunting other than I do not understand the compulsion that would make someone do it (though I believe hunting behaviour is hardwired into us to some extent), a distaste for the commercialism and canned hunting.

    I am merely curious as to what everyone else thinks on this subject hence why I created the thread.

    Perhaps unlikely but I could see a utility in trophy hunters being utilized for controlling or erradicating invasive species on ecosystems whether insular or otherwise. However, I doubt that these parties would want to shoot endless quantities of feral goats or pigs in the scrubland of a Caribbean or Pacific island rather than the "exoticism" and "glamour" of shooting a lion or elephant in Africa.

    I think the quagga was a bit before the time of Hemmingway but yes I agree that there was probably a sense of being "sportive" and giving the game a "fair chance" by the old time hunters though I'm sure this was also romanticism and glossed over.

    This was actually arguably one of the origins of the modern conservation movement in Africa as the old colonial big game hunters (or "penitent butchers" as they were sarcastically called) decried the overexploitation / depletion of wildlife by hunters who lacked any sense of this ethics.
     
    Last edited: 7 Jan 2021
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  7. birdsandbats

    birdsandbats Well-Known Member

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    Much of the money that goes into trophy hunting does go into conservation - unfortunately much of it also doesn't.
     
  8. Onychorhynchus coronatus

    Onychorhynchus coronatus Well-Known Member

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    Yep, in the context of Sub-Saharan Africa and some other parts of the world it does contribute (though it is debatable how much) thats why I personally do not have a stance for or against it.

    I am just relieved that where I am I do not have to deal with it (very luckily no one wins macho bragging points for bagging a "ferocious marmoset" :rolleyes:).
     
    Last edited: 7 Jan 2021
  9. BerdNerd

    BerdNerd Well-Known Member

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    I'm personally fine with trophy hunting as long as you use majority of the parts of the animal. For example, if a guy killed a deer, and used the head as a trophy, used the pelt to make a rug, and ate the meat, I would be fine with that. But if he only killed it for the antlers and threw the rest away, I wouldn't approve of it. Also, I don't think this applies to endangered species, since they shouldn't be hunted in the first place.
     
  10. The Cassowary

    The Cassowary Well-Known Member

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    I feel that if you are going to hunt an animal, it should be because you intend to eat it. I find trophy hunting to be a disgusting practice for this reason in particular. It is one thing if you shoot a nice-looking buck for its meat and you also decide to have its head stuffed and mounted on your wall, but flying out to Africa and killing a lion just so you can pose over its corpse and make a rug from its pelt is another matter entirely. It is, in my opinion, a senseless waste of an animal’s life.

    There’s the argument that trophy hunting and the income generated from it helps and encourages conservation, but I’m not convinced by this. I feel that ecotourism would be a much better alternative, as it is already known that many people will pay significant to travel and see these animals in their natural habitat, and it promotes the idea that animals have value alive, and not just as trophies or trinkets.
     
  11. Onychorhynchus coronatus

    Onychorhynchus coronatus Well-Known Member

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    These are interesting views , so it would appear that both of you would have more of a utilitarianist view of hunting ?

    @EternalPigeon Regarding species of conservation concern some advocates of trophy hunting would argue that the hunting of endangered species should be practiced if well managed / sustainable and if money goes back into conservation of the ecosystem.
     
    Last edited: 8 Jan 2021
  12. CheeseChameleon1945

    CheeseChameleon1945 Well-Known Member

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    I Also Basically feel the Same way as @The Cassowary, Hunting any animal needs a good reason to do so imo, and if done it shall be done sustainabley. When I lived in Pennsylvania I lived in the Most Ruraly Stereotypical Hunting town you will find in that state, so you could expect quite a bit of trophy hunters out there. But there was some people who only killed Some animals like Deer too control the Population since the few predators we had in our town were a few coyotes and a Black Bear Known as Huckle. (He kept sniffing around the Fire department for some reason).

    Anyway, Yeah. I think I am pretty against trophy hunting without reason, and it's best to admire and view the sheer beauty of the natural world at a distance respectively.
     
  13. Onychorhynchus coronatus

    Onychorhynchus coronatus Well-Known Member

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    I don't have any problem at all with regulated sport hunting as a part of a management strategy to control the overpopulation of game species such as deer or boar.

    However, I think it is at best an imperfect means and it is far better to have apex predators within a functioning ecosystem such as wolves and bear in the case of Europe and North America in that role of regulating the population density of prey.

    I prefer a utilitarianist type of hunting (and even more justified IMO would be subsistence hunting) too in terms of the consumption of the meat and parts of the animal which at least to me seems far more logical than trophy hunting.
     
    Last edited: 8 Jan 2021
  14. CheeseChameleon1945

    CheeseChameleon1945 Well-Known Member

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    Yup, I agree with all of this.
    I definitely think that Predators are the Best to control the population, in our town we just didn't have many and the consumption of any animal parts is indeed the best way.

    Have you Read the book, "Exposing the big game: Living targets of a Dying sport" ?
    https://www.amazon.com/Exposing-Big-Game-Living-Targets/dp/1846948088
    Here's the Amazon link if your interested, Its an interesting book, (I must confess I didn't finish all of it, Its at my Grandparents house So I just read it there whenever I'm bored).
     
  15. Onychorhynchus coronatus

    Onychorhynchus coronatus Well-Known Member

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    Yes, I agree that it is a legacy of colonialism and that there is a strong whiff of neocolonialism about the current practice.

    Sorry, I didn't see that earlier part of your comment about indigenous peoples in Brazil.

    It is a historic fact that during the dictatorship in the 1960's, 70's and 80's indigenous peoples and particularly the Yanomami tribe were massacred with the covert and tacit approval of the millitary and were categorized as "wild animals".

    Things haven't changed so much from those times in Brazil now with Bolsonaro's current rhetoric and campaign against indigenous peoples which is actually a genocide.

    On one occasion during the 1960's the head of a rubber planting corporation (who was undoubtedly a psychopath) planned and implemented an attack to remove indigenous peoples from land that he wanted.

    This included an aerial attack on an indigenous Yanomami village by light aircraft where dynamite was dropped and the machine gunning and killing with machetes of the survivors.

    This is maybe what you are are referring to with your comment but though it was committed by a psychopath I don't think it was trophy hunting and I think it was rather a case of a massacre / genocide / ethnic cleansing.
     
    Last edited: 8 Jan 2021
  16. Onychorhynchus coronatus

    Onychorhynchus coronatus Well-Known Member

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    By the way @Rayane I would also be interested in hearing how you feel about trophy hunting in Morocco ?

    Apparently trophy hunting of deer, boar, wild fowl and Aoudad is estimated to generate MAD 1.2 billion ($125.6 million) per year and is claimed by the Moroccan government to help with rural development.

    What do you personally feel about this practice ?
     
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  17. birdsandbats

    birdsandbats Well-Known Member

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    The term "trophy hunting" generally refers to the hunting of large animals where the prey is intened only as a trophy and is not eaten or used in any way.
     
  18. BerdNerd

    BerdNerd Well-Known Member

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    Oh. Well in that case, I am completely against trophy hunting then.
     
  19. Onychorhynchus coronatus

    Onychorhynchus coronatus Well-Known Member

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    Good point @birdsandbats and correctly made.
     
  20. Onychorhynchus coronatus

    Onychorhynchus coronatus Well-Known Member

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    Even if there were financial benefits for ecosystem conservation and sustainable development that came as a result / byproduct of trophy hunting ?