Couple kissing next to lion they killed spark global outrage, highlighting urgency for ending trophy hunting

By on July 19, 2019 with 0 Comments

The latest controversy surrounding lurid social media posts by trophy hunters has prompted a predictable response — global outrage and a wave of tweet storms directed at the individuals involved. This time around, it’s a Canadian couple who posed for a kiss over the dead captive lion they’d just killed in South Africa.

Those of us who spend our days trying to preserve and safeguard the world’s dwindling populations of endangered and threatened animals, and to prevent their slaughter, are accustomed to the grim details of trophy hunting and to the terrible toll it takes on healthy, beautiful and extraordinary animals. Even so, such photos are appalling to us.

In this instance, the two hunters have married a familiar display of personal affection to their brazen and remorseless killing of an animal whose lifeless body lies before them. It’s not romantic to the rest of us; it’s crass and clueless, and horrifying.

And worse yet, media reports suggest that the lion had been bred in captivity and confined in a small enclosure at a canned hunt facility – enterprises that profit off the exploitation of innocent animals from cradle to grave.

The outrage is palpable and rightly so, but targeting the couple will not solve the problem. We need to use such moments to highlight the many channels through which we can all work together to bring trophy hunting to an end.

The Humane Society of the United States and Humane Society International are aggressively publicizing the destructive impact of trophy hunting, stateside and worldwide. We’re lobbying and litigating to stop it in legislatures, treaty organizations and courts. We’re working to give communities living alongside wildlife the non-lethal tools needed to promote coexistence, and to encourage wildlife watching and photographic tourism as a much more substantial, sustainable and viable alternative to trophy hunting in the long term. We’re pressing airlines not to transport the skins and body parts taken as trophies. And we’re building a global community committed to the methodical, steady and certain dismantling of the trophy hunting industry worldwide.

In Canada, where the couple’s photograph and actions have angered countless citizens, we are fighting for laws to end trophy hunting. Canada is a major destination for international trophy hunters, but polls show that four out of five Canadians support legislation to ban all trophy hunting. HSI Canada has been campaigning for legislation to do so, and has played a central role in achieving corporate policies prohibiting the transport of wildlife trophies. Within Canada, we have been successful in helping to secure a ban on spear hunting in Alberta and a ban on grizzly hunting in British Columbia.

Stateside, the Humane Society Legislative Fund is supporting legislation to address the role that wealthy Americans play in sustaining trophy hunting, including canned hunting enterprises in African countries. The Conserving Ecosystems by Ceasing the Importation of Large Animal Trophies (CECIL) Act, introduced in Congress by House Natural Resources Committee Chairman Raul Grijalva, D-Ariz., would substantially restrict the import and export of trophies of any species listed or proposed to be listed as threatened or endangered under the Endangered Species Act (ESA) and prohibit the import of elephant and lion trophies from Zimbabwe, Zambia and Tanzania.

In coming days, we expect the Prohibiting Threatened and Endangered Creature Trophies (ProTECT) Act to be introduced in Congress. This bill would prohibit trophy hunting of ESA-listed species in the United States and the import of any trophy of a species listed under the ESA, thereby crippling the trophy hunting industry here at home and globally.

Individuals who think it’s just fine to kill and dishonor threatened and endangered species without compunction are Exhibit A in the case against trophy hunting. But they should not be our personal target. We need to seize these moments and channel this wave of opposition by working together to create an atmosphere of zero tolerance for trophy hunting. We need to strengthen every law and regulation to end this so-called “sport” that severely disrupts animal populations worldwide.

Please take a moment to call your federal lawmakers today and ask them to support the CECIL Act in Congress so we can bring to an end the role our nation plays in this craven activity.

As heat wave wraps around the U.S., take steps to protect pets and keep them out of hot cars

By on July 18, 2019 with 0 Comments
As heat wave wraps around the U.S., take steps to protect pets and keep them out of hot cars

In the midst of a nationwide heat wave, with excessive-heat warnings and advisories in place for more than 20 states, it’s natural for those of us who care about animals to worry about their welfare and the risk of their being locked in cars. In . . . 

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Spain’s cruel bullfights have no place in the 21st century

By on July 16, 2019 with 6 Comments
Spain’s cruel bullfights have no place in the 21st century

The annual running of the bulls at Pamplona has just come to a close in Spain, where I am traveling for work. With the San Fermin festival now over, the world can once more take account of the scores of bulls chased, tormented and killed . . . 

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Members of Congress join rescue pups at U.S. Capitol to urge passage of bill ending malicious acts of cruelty like crushing animals and bestiality

By on July 15, 2019 with 3 Comments
Members of Congress join rescue pups at U.S. Capitol to urge passage of bill ending malicious acts of cruelty like crushing animals and bestiality

By Kitty Block and Sara Amundson It may be hard to believe, but some of the most malicious acts of animal cruelty — including crushing, burning, drowning, suffocating and impaling animals and sexually exploiting them — are not felonies under federal law. Today, a bipartisan . . . 

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HSUS helping move animals out of Louisiana ahead of Tropical Storm Barry

By on July 12, 2019 with 2 Comments
HSUS helping move animals out of Louisiana ahead of Tropical Storm Barry

As Tropical Storm Barry barrels toward Louisiana, threatening to dump several feet of water on parts of the state, we are helping transport animals who are up for adoption at shelters in the area to safety with our rescue partners. Barry promises to be particularly . . . 

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Educating consumers is key to ending puppy mill problem

By on July 11, 2019 with 2 Comments
Educating consumers is key to ending puppy mill problem

There are some 10,000 puppy mills active in the United States – a mammoth number, by any measure. Animals in these enterprises are condemned to a life of squalor and suffering with no relief in sight. At a typical puppy mill, dozens or even hundreds . . . 

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Florida’s inhumane solution to its iguana problem is doomed to failure

By on July 10, 2019 with 12 Comments
Florida’s inhumane solution to its iguana problem is doomed to failure

Florida, in the midst of an explosion in the population of green iguanas, is actively encouraging residents to kill the animals “whenever possible” around their homes or on public lands. This irresponsible directive from the state’s Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission is not accompanied by . . . 

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States, localities forge ahead on banning puppy mills, cage confinement, killing contests and more

By on July 8, 2019 with 0 Comments
States, localities forge ahead on banning puppy mills, cage confinement, killing contests and more

In May this year, Washington’s governor signed into law the strongest legislative protections for egg-laying hens anywhere in the world. Nevada became the second state in the country, after California, to pass a law banning cosmetics testing on animals. And New Mexico passed a law . . . 

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For two rescues, a journey from despair to hope and love

By on July 5, 2019 with 2 Comments
For two rescues, a journey from despair to hope and love

The hands-on rescue work we do at the Humane Society of the United States and Humane Society International can be some of the most difficult for our responders, emotionally, because no matter how often they do this, it is never easy to see animals living . . . 

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This Fourth, keep your pets indoors and safe

By on July 3, 2019 with 0 Comments
This Fourth, keep your pets indoors and safe

Fourth of July has always been one of my favorite holidays and I especially enjoy watching the fireworks with my family. Although this year I can’t help but worry a little as the holiday approaches. That’s because last year my dog, Lilly, suddenly developed an . . . 

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South Korea shuts down major dog meat market; More than 80 dogs rescued from vendors

By on July 2, 2019 with 6 Comments
South Korea shuts down major dog meat market; More than 80 dogs rescued from vendors

We are making great progress every day in our fight to end the dog meat trade and I have two major developments to share with you today from countries that have been the focus of some of our most important work. Yesterday, South Korean authorities . . . 

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Japan resumes killing whales for profit after 33 years

By on July 1, 2019 with 12 Comments
Japan resumes killing whales for profit after 33 years

Japan, a long-time outlier on the global consensus against commercial whaling, overtly resumed killing whales for profit today in defiance of a 33-year international moratorium that still remains in effect. Japan’s actions make it a pirate whaling nation, acting completely outside the rule of international . . . 

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