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Poaching… Hunting…. There’s no difference


It’s been one of my longest running arguments over the rhino issue and the tourism operators and bodies who are so outraged by it. The only difference between trophy hunting and poaching is a piece of paper called a permit. The legality of the latter is open to question because of corruption. So we need to ask ourselves and everyone who gets frothy over what’s going on this important question: what, exactly, are we against? Illegal killing (poaching) or killing per se (hunting) In my mind there is no difference between a poacher killing an elephant for ivory and a hunter killing it to get a hard-on. A dead elephant is a dead elephant.
You can’t be against one and pro the other.



  1. I like your clarity of mind on this Sharon.
    If you step back from the details, it’s really about one species decimating another. A permit is simply a unilateral acknowledgement by the predator species to do that.

  2. My sentiments exactly. But…these actually are two separate issues and therefore two separate fights. It is important that when tackling these crises that we are mindful of the differences. While the practice of hunting is despicable, hunters are not after elephants for their tusks or the rhinos for their horns. Poachers are and are therefore the cause of the crises. They are by far the bigger concern…and it is here that we really need to focus. In order for us to send a clear message to governments, CITES etc our stance has to be ‘no to trade’. We cannot afford to muddy the water by equating hunting for sport with poaching for trade as it will be a war on two fronts and that, history tells us, is not how to wage a successful campaign.

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