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In a new book, ex-campaign staffer for the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) claims that the organisation he used to work for as well as other conservation agencies such as the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) offers help for the trophy hunting industry. Titled Trophy Hunters Exposed – Inside the Big Game Industry, Eduardo Gonçalves also details the disturbing ties between politicians and trophy hunting. The book has since been endorsed by multiple high-profile celebrities, who have called on immediate legislation to ban the cruel industry.
The WWF and other conservation organisations have a little-known secret of backing the big game sport and have been involved in blocking legal challenges against the hunters, claims author Eduardo Gonçalves, who is the founder of the Campaign to Ban Trophy Hunting and former chief of the League Against Cruel Sports.
“Trophy hunting is often seen as an aberration by a handful of individuals. This investigation shows it is a large, powerful industry with a well-oiled and generously-funded lobbying machine,” said Gonçalves in a statement released by publisher Green Future Books.
“Some of these ‘conservationists’ have secured influential positions within wildlife decision-making bodies. They are today revealed to be among the world’s leading trophy hunters. Their organisations are industry fronts more interested in protecting hunters’ rights than endangered animals. They have literally put the ‘con’ into ‘conservation.”
In the foreword, written by renowned British explorer Sir Ranulph Fiennes, the book introduces readers to the shocking fact that 1.7 million animals have been killed by trophy hunters in the past decade alone. Among them, at least 200,000 are endangered species, according to the International Fund for Animal Welfare.
Such claims about conservationists failing to put an end to the cruel and damaging trophy hunting industry are not new. Earlier this year, an investigation by Buzzfeed News revealed that within the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), there are conflicts of interest and links between IUCN member organisations and trophy hunting and fashion industries.
Since being published, Trophy Hunters Exposed has been praised by multiple celebrities, including Dame Judi Dench, who said: “If this book doesn’t get trophy hunting banned I don’t know what will. This is an incredible investigation that reveals everything the industry would rather you didn’t know.”
Joanna Lumley has also endorsed the book, commenting: “Trophy hunting is legalised animal abuse on an industrial scale. We cannot call ourselves civilised while we allow trophy hunting. Trophy Hunters Exposed tells us why we must abolish it.”
Lead image courtesy of Sabrina Corgatelli Facebook.