The Ivory Trade and Conservation of Animals

In 2014, under President Barack Obama, a ban was put in place preventing hunters from bringing in trophies from elephants, from Zimbabwe and Zambia, where it is legal to hunt these endangered species, into the United States.

“I believe that this was a very good thing for Obama to do, because the United States is a country that thrives off trade and work with other countries.” said Kacy C. “If people are not allowed to bring in ivory to the US, this may discourage them from hunting these endangered elephants.”

The current President of the United States, Donald Trump, has allegedly planned to reverse this ban, allowing hunters to bring ivory from elephants into the United States.

On November 17, President Trump tweeted that he was placing a hold on his decision to reverse the ban. Even the thought of reversing this ban brings up many important issues regarding the rights of animals, especially endangered ones.

As of 1978, African Elephants have been one of the many animals on the United States Endangered Species list.

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Photo by Carlin H.

Some believe that the hunting of African Elephants does indeed help with conservation of their species, but others disagree greatly.

Junior, Emma S., says, “I think that it’s important that we take care of elephants, and all other animals for that matter. Animals were here before us so I don’t think it’s fair for us to keep killing them off.”

How could something so brutal, something that involves killing innocent animals for sport and trade, help to conserve their species?

“I think often, issues with animal rights and hunting for sport aren’t really thought about in day to day life, but people should help as best they can to protect these rights. Whether that means volunteering, donating money, or simply being mindful of their rights.” said Mel C., a junior.

We, as humans, are the most complex species that exists on Earth, but we are not the only species.

99% of the time, humans are the reason that different species of animals have gone extinct.

There are millions of animals living on our planet, and we should be able to peacefully share Earth with all the species that make up our ecosystem.

Thanks to humans, 41,415 different species of animals have been placed on the endangered animals list by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).

Plus, in the past century alone, 11 different species have been completely wiped out, due to human actions. That is thousands and thousands of innocent animals, whose homes have been destroyed to build shopping malls, or who have been shot and killed only to get their heads hung on a wall for the hunter’s enjoyment.

Abby Z., a junior at Duxbury High School said, “Many people think of humans as the only important species in the world, and they don’t realize that animals should be taken care of and kept safe as well.”

When asked about her opinion on Trump’s choice to reverse Obama’s ivory ban, Abby said, “It is very bad idea. If he allows hunters to bring in ivory then elephants are going to die off. They are already endangered.”

One enormous issue with Trump’s thought to allow hunters to bring in ivory from elephants is that it could potentially encourage hunters to terminate the existence of a species that has been around for 55 million years, and is already endangered.

Hannah Q., a junior, said, “Every animal on Earth has a specific job, so it isn’t okay for people to forget that they do have importance in our ecosystem.” She says, “If one animal goes extinct, it could cause a chain reaction and very negatively impact humanity as a whole.”

Animals are like us. The have hearts that beat and brains that think, and they need to be treated like the living creatures they are.

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Photo by Kaitlyn B.

 

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