Order of Australia

Founder of For the Love of Wildlife, Donalea Patman, has been awarded the Order of Australia Medal (OAM) for services to animal welfare.

In what started with a humble letter to her local MP Jason Wood, Donalea put the plight of Africa’s lions and the canned hunting industry on the Australian radar.

Just 18 months later the former Environment Minister Greg Hunt made the decision for Australia to become the first country to ban the importation of lion trophies and body parts.

Reflecting on her campaign to ensure Australia plays its part in the protection of one of the world’s most iconic species, Donalea recalls meeting Pippa Hankinson at an event in December 2012, Producer of Blood Lions, a documentary exposing the canned hunting industry.

“We happened to catch the same flight out and on that flight, we both pledged to do more for lions.

“Pippa went on to make Blood Lions and I started reaching out to people to see what role Australia could play,” Donalea said.

Leading up to a Federal election Donalea started writing to the candidates about the plight of Africa’s lions.

“I had approached Government to act on behalf of our youth who were being duped into participating in the canned hunting industry.

“They thought they were raising orphaned cubs as part of a conservation effort, but little did they know they were unwittingly raising cubs that are bred for the bullet,” Donalea said.

She then received a phone call from MP Jason Wood who she described as being shocked at the statistics and appalled at the canned hunting industry.

“He (Jason) said if he was elected he would do something to help.

“Jason championed the work, resulting in tripartisan support to get the changes necessary in enacting a ban on the importation of lion trophies and body parts,” Donalea said.

In recognition of her prestigious award, Donalea reflects on the support and mentoring she has received throughout her journey to date, particularly from Ian Michler, the Specialist Consultant and lead role in the Blood Lions documentary.

Meeting with Minister Greg Hunt – Ian Michler, Jason Wood MP, Donalea Patman (next to Donalea, out of picture Roderick Campbell).

“He trusted me from the very beginning. Ian was integral to the process, supplying scientific evidence, industry information and relevant reports.

“He also introduced me to key stakeholders and willingly travelled to Australia to meet with Jason Wood and Minister Greg Hunt,” Donalea said.

At the Global March for Lions in March 2015, Donalea hosted an event at Federation Square, Melbourne, to announce the Australian ban.

“We had a massive screen linked to Ian in South Africa to announce the ban.

“It was one of the proudest days of my life to see a man who’s been fighting to stop this industry for around 20 years wipe tears away on the announcement,” she said.

Crowd at Federation Square, Melbourne to watch the announcement of the ban on lion trophies and body parts, a global first.

When asked what advice she has for others who want to make a difference for wildlife, Donalea was more than happy to share some words of wisdom.

“I truly believe that if you want to make a change in the world you must be courageous to take a leap of faith.  With commitment and determination, we all have the capacity to make a positive impact,” she said.

“I come from a design background and yet somehow, through my love of wildlife and the power of not being able to stay silent about an industry that is so abhorrent, I found a way to do something.

“I’m deeply grateful to Pippa and Ian, and honoured to be in Jason Wood’s electorate,” Donalea said.

Although lions remain her passion, Donalea is now focusing her expertise to impact the plight facing elephants and rhinos. She is leading the #NoDomesticTrade Australia project to have the Australian Government implement a domestic trade ban on the sale of ivory and rhino horn within the country.

Order of Australia

On Australia Day 2017 the Queen’s Birthday Honours List, Donalea was announced as recipient of the Medal of the Order of Australia in the General Division within the Australian honours system for service to animal welfare.

The Order of Australia is an order of chivalry established by Letters Patent on 14 February 1975 by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II on the advice of Prime Minister Gough Whitlam. Appointments to the Order of Australia is the pre-eminent means by which Australia confer recognition for outstanding achievement or meritorious service of its citizens. Membership to the society of honour is by merit, independently assessed and free of political interference.

The Queen is the Sovereign Head of the Order of Australia and the Governor General is the Principal Knight and as Chancellor is charged with the administration of the Order.

Australia…No Domestic Trade!

Despite what many Australians might believe, elephant ivory and rhino horn is sold in Australia.

International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) released their “Under the Hammer” report, exposing how much ivory and rhino horn is being sold through auction rooms.

The report identified that only 2.7 per cent of items inspected at Australian auction rooms had ‘provenance’ documentation which provides the most useful information to determine the origin and legality of an item.

Items for sale in Chapel Street, Melbourne.

At least three rhinos are brutally slaughtered daily and one elephant is killed every 15 minutes. The South African government released rhino poaching statistics for 2016, reporting 1,054 rhinos has been killed.

A privately funded Great Elephant Census states that African elephant populations have declined by 30 per cent over the last seven years.

The Chinese Government announced it will close its ivory market by the end of 2017 and it’s time Australia does too.

 

Print out the Speak Out Letter and post to the Minister. Details are on the letter and you don’t have to be living in Australia.

 

In September 2016 the Australian Government was asked to enact a total ban on the domestic trade of elephant ivory and rhino horn in a communiqué that was hand delivered to Minister for the Environment and Energy, Josh Frydenberg.

Signed by over 50 conservation organisations from around the world, the ban would be a move to ensure Australia commits to playing its role in saving elephants and rhinos from extinction in the wild in the near future.

The communique was presented by Australian NGO founders Donalea Patman (For the Love of Wildlife) and Dr Lynn Johnson (Breaking The Brand) together with Fiona Gordon of New Zealand based environmental firm Gordon Consulting and Rebecca Keeble of IFAW.

Ms Patman has been disappointed with the response from Minister Frydenberg and the apparent confusion about who is responsible for dealing with illegal ivory or rhino horn.

“The response was that Australia is unlikely to be driving the elephant poaching or international illegal trade,” Ms Patman said.

“On top of that, ivory was found for sale in Western Australia in December 2016 which didn’t have the required documentation (shocking to see that ivory appears in their catalogue again in February).

It was first reported to the Australian Federal Police who then referred it to State Police, who then passed it to Border Control,” she said.

“There is clearly confusion about who is responsible and a lack of political will to demonstrate leadership on this issue,” she said.

Items for auction in Mt Lawley in December 2016.

The threat of extinction of these iconic species remains high. In November last year Vietnam hosted the third International Wildlife Trade Conference in Hanoi.

The Duke of Cambridge and President of United for Wildlife, Prince William attended the conference and delivered a speech on tackling illegal wildlife trade. In his speech he stated “A betting man would still bet on extinction”.

Follow the campaign on Facebook and use the following hashtags #NoDomesticTrade #EyesOnIvory #RhinosMatter #NotOnMyWatch

 

Print out these posters, take a selfie with it and post to our Facebook page…show Australia that it’s time. The Australian Government needs the public to show that it cares deeply about saving these iconic African animals.

Print out the Speak Out Letter and post to the Minister. Details are on the letter and you don’t have to be living in Australia.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Print out these posters, take a selfie with it and post to our Facebook page…show Australia that it’s time. The Australian Government needs the public to show that it cares deeply about saving these iconic African animals.

 

The communique that was hand delivered to the Minister in September 2016. 

Stella Horgan in Australia for FLOW roadshow

It was an absolute delight to have Stella in Australia. A member of the FLOW Board since it was founded in 2014, Stella has been integral to the success and direction, offering her vast experience in the not-for-profit sector whilst running her own NGO Zingela Ulwazi.

We hosted our first presentation in Melbourne, at Loop Space Bar where we met Nha Phuong of UMAPS (University of Melbourne Animal Protection Society) who was touched by our story and very keen for us to present at Melbourne University whilst Stella was here. We presented to a wonderful group of bright eyed passionate students on the 23 March just before Stella left for home.

Our presentation covered the FLOW journey, how Stella and I met at the Global White Lion Protection Trust in Timbavati South Africa, only to discover that we’d been in the same room a few years before when Andrew Harvey (spiritual teacher, author, Rumi translator and founder of Sacred Activism) had presented in South Melbourne. I returned from that talk to look at Harvey’s website and quickly signed up for a workshop being held at the Trust and Stella went on to leave Melbourne to work there.

After my first visit to the Trust in 2011 I had a extraordinary encounter with the lions. On the first morning out, in the crisp morning air in the back of the open air vehicle, where Linda Tucker (CEO and Founder) had expressed that it’s essential that eye gazing with the lions is kept soft and that you remain still and quiet. All I can say is that the meeting was one I’ll never forget. As we turned the corner in the vehicle we surprised the Royal pride who sat bolt upright with one of the young adult males locking eyes with me. Despite all that I was told, I could not remove my eyes from this exquisite being and I started to sob (uncontrollably), trying as hard as I could to not make a noise!

When we returned to camp, that’s when I heard the term canned hunting for the very first time and I can tell you I was outraged. On asking both Linda and Andrew what to do with this rage, as it was something very primal and potent, Andrew looked at me and said these words…“now that you’ve been brought to your knees, in your indignant rage, your despair, your heartbreak. I want you to pull these energies through your passionate heart and go into the world and do something.” How’s that for a call to action?!!!

Our presentation covered the visits with some beautiful images of the white lions, extraordinary footage of them collapsing by the vehicle in a complete love fest! And how the work was informed by these animals. We discussed interspecies communication, working with the Australian Government, how we are all challenged by these universal themes:

  • No tribe but plenty of purpose
  • Being a citizen with heartbreak
  • Compelled to take action

On one of the journeys to South Africa, I met Pippa Hankinson who went on to produce the multi-award winning Blood Lions documentary and campaign that has changed the conservation landscape with regards to Africa’s lions; exposing the unscrupulous industry of captive breeding and canned hunting. Pippa generously introducing Ian Michler to FLOW who mentored and continues to support our work.

Getting the ban on lion trophies was difficult work with opposition from not only the obvious – the hunting community but also fellow advocates with most telling me that I was wasting my time, that the Liberal Government would NEVER pass such a ban. Despite much angst and opposition from a variety of political players, Jason Wood MP and then Environment Minister Greg Hunt stood firm and proceeded with their pledge. The ban announced at Federation Square in March 2015 despite fierce opposition.

Our talk included Stella’s work in South Africa, sharing why multiple sites of power are crucial to a democracy and why a vibrant civil society is critical in providing that. Her work with local communities and schools is powerful and essential, always weaving in conservation.

Thank you to all that attended, we were deeply inspired and touched by the feedback and grateful for your passionate hearts and your loving support. For those that assisted along the way, we thank you for your generous contribution whether it was supplying equipment, being on the door, helping set up – all helped enormously.

Donalea Patman, Founder

 

 

Become a member and help save our iconic species

To take the next step in our journey and be eligible for funding opportunities it’s imperative that For the Love of Wildlife applies for DGR Status (deductible gift recipient).

It does mean we’ll have more compliance and accounting responsibilities but we’re also looking into collaborating with international conservation groups in some exciting new projects.

Membership means you’ll be kept up-to-date on our progress and exciting news, with our continued and expected growth, membership offers!

$20 a year, it’s a bargain!!!

We’re always looking for passionate and dedicated volunteers and certainly appreciate ongoing financial support…no matter how small.

Please print out the form and email back to us… or email for further information.

Lion cubs imported by private Australian zoo from South Africa’s canned hunting industry.

Ukutula, an industrial-sized predator facility outside Johannesburg, South Africa, has been in the firing line from conservationists and animal activists for over a decade. The place runs one of the most sophisticated lion cub petting, voluntourism and trading operations, and on countless occasions they have been exposed for selling their lions on to other operators once they are no longer good for their commercial operations.

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Where do these lion cubs come from and where do they end up? Photo credit: Ian Michler

The explosive documentary Blood Lions has exposed how the predator industry operates with scenes shot at Ukutula clearly showing as many as 27 lions cubs being handled by visitors and volunteers. The film asks the leading question “where do these cubs come from and where do they go”?

Ian Michler, lead role in the documentary states; “There is absolutely no conservation value whatsoever to breeding lions in captivity under these conditions, and especially so if they have been hand reared. These lions can never be released to the wild and volunteers are being conned into believing they are making a contribution to securing the future of lions.”

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Volunteers are paying up to US$1000 a week for the experience of handling cubs and Ukutula can have up to 25 volunteers at any given time, clearly a significant money spinner for the operation.

Australian Federal MP Jason Wood was so shocked at the damning evidence Donalea Patman, Founder of For the Love of Wildlife took to him that he worked with then Minister for Environment, Greg Hunt to do something as he felt canned hunting was morally reprehensible. Minister Hunt created a global first by banning the importation of lion trophies and body parts, a courageous and visionary step with France and the Netherlands following Australia’s lead. The USA government has since also implemented far stricter laws for importing lion trophies from Africa.

Despite consultation with the Government and a screening of Blood Lions in Parliament, a private zoo in New South Wales has been able to import cubs from Ukutula in South Africa.

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Senator Lee Rhiannon with For the Love of Wildlife founder, Donalea Patman, Ian Michler who is lead role in Blood Lions and investigative journalist, Minister Greg Hunt and economist Roderick Campbell, author of Ecolarge.

Ukutula has implemented a system of tracking their lions to assure buyers that they’re not destined for the canned hunting industry but given the information is confidential, you have to question how effective this is.  In addition, not a single recognized lion ecologist or predator conservation agency is working with them.

Ms Patman states; “We do not need more lions (or any big cats) in Australia. There’s absolutely no conservation value and we’re supporting this unscrupulous business by allowing these imports.”

“The world is outraged over the brutality of canned hunting and we’re trying to educate the tourism industry and volunteer groups not to engage in exploitative animal encounters – cub petting and lion walking being part of the canned hunting cycle. We are sending mixed messages allowing these cubs into Australia but saying don’t do it in other countries.”

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Billabong Zoo in Port Macquarie publicly states that it wishes to breed from these cubs. Are we not replicating the trend in South Africa which has been globally condemned  by conservation and animal welfare groups as purely exploitative practises?

Billabong Zoo Facebook page statement:

“In order to import lions to Australia both the Australian authorities and the South African authorities have a strict permitting process to ensure the animals are sourced from a legitimate and licensed facility and to ensure they are going to be used for conservation purposes. In Australia lions are treated as a CITES 1 species, a higher level of protection than anywhere else in the world. This means that they can only be imported as part of a conservation breeding and education program. The Australia CITES office did research Ukutula and were satisfied that they were not part of the canned hunting industry – if they weren’t satisfied we would never have been granted our import permit. These cubs were also approved by the Zoo Aquarium Association to be accepted into the Australian breeding program for lions – this approval process included the scrutiny of, and acceptance by a number of individuals involved in this organisation. Secondly, Ukutula themselves insisted that Billabong Zoo become a member of EcoScan, a program which offers lifetime tracking of individual animals to ensure they are only used for ethical purposes and are not part of the hunting industry. Ukutula could not be a member of EcoScan if they hadn’t already proven themselves to not be part of the canned hunting industry. Thirdly our zoo vet personally visited Ukutula to inspect the lion cubs and the facility prior to the transfer, and returned with nothing but praise for the operators, the staff, the facility and the animals. The process for Billabong Zoo to import lion cubs has been a huge undertaking, and one that we have spent years bringing together. These animals and the sending facility, Ukutula have been researched and accepted by various government bodies and zoo industry officials. Throughout the entire process Billabong Zoo has remained transparent with the sourcing and importation of these animals, and at no time has any government or zoo official raised concerns with how these animals were sourced. The cubs, Milo and Misty have travelled and settled extremely well and we are so proud of the impact these little ambassadors have already had in raising awareness about the plight of the African Lion.”

“There is in fact only one piece of post-doctoral research (2012 study by Dr Luders and others) in the list of 14 links. The only research of substance appears to have been the improved felid semen collection study by Dr Luders and others that is not even lion specific. It involved a very small proportion of the Ukutula lions (7 out of an estimated 100).  It does seem clear to us that Ukutula is primarily a commercial lion breeding venture, not a research facility.” Chris Mercer, Campaign Against Canned Hunting.

We are calling on the Australian Government to show consistency. We cannot condemn South Africa’s predator farms and the cycle of exploitation and then allow cubs from those same operators to be shipped here. In addition, we call on the Australian public to refrain from visiting these places; think before you visit and know that handling a wild animal commits them to a lifetime of misery with no chance of being reintroduced to the wild.

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USA bans trophy imports of captive South African lions

This is a significant blow to the canned hunting industry.

South Africa’s defiance despite the global outrage, choosing to side with SAPA (South Africa Predator Breeders Association) in supporting the brutal industry of breeding predators for profit. South Africa’s Tourism Minister, Derek Hanekom states in Blood Lions that it’s bad for brand South Africa. 

The recent outcome of CITES CoP17 had South Africa and the hunting groups pulling out all efforts to maintain this abhorrent industry, lions subsequently left at Appendix II listing despite the IUCN asking the South African Government to address canned hunting and work to closing it down by 2020. Unbelievably, CITES approved the trade in lion bones which has conservationists reeling in disbelief as supporting the continued growth of this industry, which supplements the diminishing tiger bone industry, leaves wild populations at risk – wild body parts are what consumers are wanting.

Overwhelming evidence and undercover footage exposes how pathetic these psychopaths are – shooting scared animals out of trees and warthog holes, slapping each other on the back as if they’d actually accomplished something but all they’ve done is blown the hell out of a hand reared, tame animal.

Ongoing illegal activities take place and prove how morally devoid the “hunters” and operators are, the tolerance by authorities, by SAPA and PHASA (Professional Hunters Association of South Africa) in allowing this level of behaviour in the name of “sport”.

Australia took action when then Minister of Environment, Greg Hunt announced the ban on lion trophies and body parts March 2015 creating a global first which was followed by France and the Netherlands. With up to 70% of canned hunting market being Americans, this ban has a significant impact on the lucrative market.  It starts with renting out cubs which are torn from their mothers a few days after birth for tourists to “pay and play”, lion walking until they are too old and are returned to the death camps waiting to be bought online for a quick, efficient, cost effective and guaranteed kill.

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Ian Michler, lead role and consultant Blood Lions with USFWS Director, Dan Ashe.

Congratulations Blood Lions…this is a massive step in lion conservation. Still much to do with changing behaviour and belief surrounding “sustainable utilisation” and wildlife having to “pay it’s way”. Commoditising wildlife can never be a solution and we must find a way to let wild be wild, maintaining wilderness and habitat, keeping human consumption and greed off the table when it comes to our protecting our natural world.

http://africageographic.com/blog/usa-bans-trophy-imports-captive-south-african-lions/

http://news.nationalgeographic.com/2016/10/wildlife-watch-canned-lion-hunting-trophies-banned/

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/a-major-step-forward-for-lion-conservation-in-africa_us_5808f6ffe4b099c434319294

A call for domestic ban of ivory and rhino horn in Australia

The Australian government will be asked to enact a total ban on the domestic trade of elephant ivory and rhino horn in a communiqué that will be hand delivered to Minister for the Environment and Energy Josh Frydenberg on Monday 26 September.

Signed by over 50 conservation organisations from around the world, the ban would be a move to ensure Australia commits to playing its role in saving elephants and rhinos from extinction in the wild in the near future.

The communique will be presented by Australian NGO founders Donalea Patman (For the Love of Wildlife) and Dr Lynn Johnson (Breaking The Brand) together with Fiona Gordon of New Zealand based environmental firm Gordon Consulting and Rebecca Keeble of International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW).

In 2014 Ms Patman took the plight of Africa’s lions and the canned hunting industry to her local MP Jason Wood. Just 18 months later the former Environment Minister Greg Hunt made the decision for Australia to be the first country to ban lion trophies and body parts from entering the country. The ban was implemented just months before Cecil the famous lion was killed.

Since then, France and the Netherlands have followed Australia by banning lion trophies. The United States has severely restricted import laws to curb the canned hunting and captive breeding industries.

Ms Patman said that despite Australia’s strict border controls, the sale of ivory and rhino horn has been seen in shopping strips, auction houses and online. IFAW has released it’s report“Under the Hammer” which exposes the rampant trade, showing just how much is traded in the oceania region.

ivory-necklace

“This simply isn’t good enough given 30 per cent of elephants have been wiped out in the last seven years and rhinos are being butchered on a daily basis.

“Lions are being farmed for hunting and to satisfy a growing demand for their bones,” she said.

The communique coincides with the opening of 17th meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on International Trade of Endangered Species (CITES). Protection levels and whether or not to legalise trade of products from these animals will be on the agenda.

“Australia is geographically positioned and complicit in the illegal trade and it is time that we see a greater effort to combat trade,” Ms Patman said.

false-assumptions

“It would seem that Australian laws are not fully enforced. Auction houses self-regulate and without enough officers in the field, there is a staggering rise in wildlife items for sale.

“An ivory shipment was discovered at Perth airport last year and an investigation by South African Airways found the cargo was mislabelled. Despite communication from the government, we are uncertain as to the outcome and what happened to the ivory,” she said.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-04-09/customs-seize-ivory-in-air-cargo-at-perth/6381712

Ms Patman is also co-hosting this Saturday’s Global March for Elephants, Rhinos and Lions together with My Green World. The march calls for member nations of CITES to vote for the strongest protection levels for elephants, rhinos and lions, and to vote against legalising trade of products made from their body parts.

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“We are fast running out of time to save these animals from extinction,” Ms Patman said.

“With what we know to date, we will see these species gone within the next 10 years,” she said.

The letter to the Minister states: “We cannot bear to be witness to the continued annihilation of these animals. As we mark the start of CITES CoP17 in Johannesburg and the Global March for Elephant, Rhino and Lion, on 24 September 2016 in Australia and around the world, we stand as one, we stand for wildlife and ask the Australian Federal Government to enact a complete ban on the domestic trade of rhino horn and elephant ivory.”

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Contact:

Donalea Patman – Director, For the Love of Wildlife

fortheloveofwildife@gmail.com | +61417 939 042

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Newspaper Articles and Reports

Bryan Seymour, 7 News covers the chilling footage brought to light by safari cameraman Derek Gobbett.

7 NEWS September 2016

Explosive footage and the truth exposed by Derek Gobbett, a safari cameraman accompanying 10 hunters on De Klerk Safaris concession hosted by Stormberg Elangeni Safaris. This is the full story which was featured in the recent BBC story.

A Parliamentary Inquiry into the register of Environmental Organisations who focus work on issues outside of Australia, wanting their deductible gift recipient status removed. This article by Roderick Campbell lays it bare.

https://newmatilda.com/2016/05/19/breaking-down-party-lions/

The Federal Election in Australia had us featured as part of Jason Wood’s election campaign. Jason Wood held his seat in the electorate of La Trobe with support of the Animal Justice Party.

Election Press 28:06:16 Full pageElection Press 28:06:16 Story

Media on CACH’s withdrawal from I’m a Celebrity, Network Ten, Australian Reality TV

Bryan Seymour, 7 News 14 March 2016

Lucy Mae Beers, Daily Mail Australia 16 March 2016

Ebony Bowden, Sydney Morning Herald, 16 March 2016

Courier Mail, 16 March 2016

Scoopla, 16 March 2016

 

The Animals Post 2015 UK, 2015

International Business Times – 31 March, 2015

Mojo (Monash Journalism) 16 March, 2015

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By Isabel McCrea, IFAW Australia published 13 March, 2015.

IFAW Article

 

Daily Maverick

By Peter Borchert, South Africa 15 March 2015

Peter Borchert

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By FOUR PAWS International

FOUR PAWS

 

The Guardian

By Oliver Milman, 13 March 2015

Nova Magazine March Edition by Jeremy Ball

 

Article Mail Newspaper, 4 March, 2015

Mail 4 March 2015

Article Herald Sun, Victoria, 3 March, 2015

Herald Sun 3 March 2015

Article Saturday Star, Johannesburg, December 6, 2014

Joburg Sat Star Dec 6

Joburg Sat Star Full Page

 

Article The Mail, March 4, 2014

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Leader Community Newspaper, July 4, 2014

Simon Bloch, Durban reports on Australian Government’s initiative (Sunday 6 July, Weekend Argus)

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Article The Mail, March 4, 2014

Newspaper article 3 March

Global March Melbourne

More than 135 cities will join the Global March for Elephant, Rhino and Lion on the opening day of Convention of International Trade of Endangered Species (CITES) to demand these species are listed as Appendix 1 to offer the highest protection possible. The Melbourne event will start at 11am at Alexandra Gardens, walking down South Bank to Red Stair Amphitheatre.

GMFERL Logo  Global March for Elephant, Rhino and Lion – Melbourne

Despite the serious message, this event is asking people to onesie up for wildlife and #MarchAsOnesie for a family friendly event. We want children to be engaged as the future guardians of these animals, to reconnect them to the natural world and show that we deeply care about the plight of Africa’s wildlife, the environment and all species.

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In communities worldwide, extinction anxiety is building and more-and-more concerned citizens are turning to their governments to ask them to step into the void and enact domestic bans.    

The continued slaughter due to poaching, trade, illegal trafficking, human animal conflict and loss of habitat is pushing these species to extinction. If world leaders and Governments around the world don’t take immediate action they will disappear before our very eyes.

The recent elephant census has chilling results. The only place where elephants aren’t being decimated is Kruger National Park in South Africa but then we hear there are whispers of a cull due to the current drought. Heartbreaking news to hear that 26 elephants have been poached in one of the last safe houses in Africa – Botswana.

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The demand on wildlife products from Asia and specifically Vietnam is having a brutal impact. We’re at a loss to understand why there’s still discussion and debate about opening trade on rhino horn and ivory. Despite tough border security Australia is complicit with more than enough evidence of items for sale through retail stores, auction houses and online – many aren’t antiques and certainly don’t have appropriate paperwork.

http://visual.artshub.com.au/news-article/news/museums/gina-fairley/museums-are-the-new-border-control-252061

There’s also concern that the burgeoning taxidermy industry does fall outside the capacity for officers to appropriately investigate, only able to seize illegal products but lack the authority to question or search.

If the slaughter continues at current levels, elephants, rhinos and lions face extinction in the wild within a generation.

But this is not an inevitable scenario, if all countries act now to eliminate demand by closing domestic ivory markets. If demand ends, the poaching will too, giving elephants and rhinos a chance to recover their numbers. The CITES conference is where critical decisions affecting the future of these species will be made, may be the last chance to take bold, principled steps that will give elephants, rhinos and lion a final lifeline to survival.

The captive breeding and canned hunting operations in South Africa feed the lion bone trade and despite Australia banning the importation of lion trophies and body parts in March last year, with France and the Netherlands following and the US putting strict import laws in place other countries are slow to act. The change in Government in the UK has put back efforts by local NGO’s with their Government seeking advice from Safari Club International, one of the drivers of canned lion hunting. You have to question the moral code of any human who thinks killing a hand reared animal in a fenced area is ethical or even possible to be considered “hunting”. Despite the fees paid for a hunt, the carcass remains the property of the farmer who can further profit by selling to the Asian market for approximately $5000 a carcass.

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“Unless immediate action is taken by all countries to put an end to the ivory and horn trade, we may be the last generation to see elephants and rhinos in the wild,” said Denise Dresner of Action for Elephants UK. “We hope everyone who cares about their survival will join the march on September 24th and demand action from their governments to save them.”

We ask that Australia takes decisive and clear action now, within it’s own jurisdiction, to target the matters at the very heart of this issue: consumer demand and legal domestic markets.  

Ivory Necklace

Ivory necklace for sale through Leonard Joel Auction House

A domestic ban would close down markets which ultimately provide a means to legally dispose of illegal rhino horn and ivory – an activity that undermines the rule of law, international trade bans and the CITES processes. A publicly announced domestic ban would help to reaffirm ivory and rhino horn as unacceptable commodities.

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Items for sale in South Yarra, Melbourne.

As a collective we ask for action throughout the Oceanic region.  It’s time for courageous and visionary leadership from all corners of the globe, to ‘do their bit’ to stop the slaughter. Too much is being asked of Africa’s wildlife, particularly the elephants, rhino and lion, under the ‘if it pays it stays’ approach – animals have a right to exist, well beyond being viewed as mere commodities.

We commend the Australian Government on their global leadership as demonstrated with the implementation of a ban on the importation of lion trophies and body parts – a visionary and courageous step taken by Minister Greg Hunt. Announced in March 2015, months before the death of Cecil, this ban could well be considered the biggest step for lion conservation.

We cannot bear to be witness to the continued annihilation of these animals and on this day, we mark the CITES CoP17 in Johannesburg and the Global March for Elephants, Rhinos and Lions commencing on 24 September 2016, we stand as one, we stand for wildlife.

We are very proud to have guest speakers Lynn Johnson, Breaking the Brand, Fiona Gordon, Gordon Consulting New Zealand (thanks to IFAW) and Director of For the Love of Wildlife, Donalea Patman presenting at the event.

Lynn in Kenya

Dr Lynn Johnson interviewed over 50 people from the Kenyan Maasai, including Maasai warriors to understand what rhinos meant to this group. She also interviewed people who were of Kikuyu, Samburu and Luo decent about what rhino meant to the people of Kenya.

Canned Hunting WARNING: Graphic Content

We are sorry to have to post such graphic content but to create change we have to know our enemies. Please view with caution, the content is very distressing but what drives us to have this cruel industry banned.

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There are fewer than 3,000 lions left in the wild in South Africa, but more than 8,000 in captivity, being bred for the bullet or the arrow. These animals are destined to be trophies, therefore it is imperative that the head to kept in perfect condition. A quick kill by a head shot now becomes a body shot, taking up to a dozen bullets to kill a lion or a slow death by arrow, either way piercing a major organ can never be guaranteed.

Lion farming and poaching are serious threats to wild lion prides for a number of reasons:

  • The ongoing capture of wild lions for the purpose of introducing fresh blood into captive breeding negatively affects the wild population.
  • The canned hunting industry attracts high fee paying clients for the opportunity to kill captured, drugged, confined and humanized animals.
  • The explosive growth of the Asian lion bone trade through poaching.
  • Volunteers inadvertently support the industry by being deceptively conned in the name of conservation. They are led to believe that they are helping orphaned cubs that are being raised to return to the wild… animals that have been humanized can never return to the wild.
  • Volunteers do not work at these reserves for free – the fee is high and it makes this industry very lucrative.
  • Poverty – the local Africans are too easily persuaded by money to poach animals for the lion farming or international trade in parts.

Watch Blood Lions to see the truth behind this horrific and cruel industry.

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Explosive footage and the truth exposed by Derek Gobbett, a safari cameraman accompanying 10 hunters on De Klerk Safaris concession hosted by Stormberg Elangeni Safaris. This is the full story which was featured in the recent BBC story.

https://vimeo.com/182198408?utm_source=email&utm_medium=vimeo-cliptranscode-201504&utm_campaign=29220

If you want print ready or high resolution files please email us at fortheloveofwildlife@gmail.com

WARNING: Graphic and confronting content.

South Africa’s dirty secret

The CON in conservation

The CON in conservation Part 2