Article posted by C.A.S.H. Committee To Abolish Sport Hunting
By Peter Muller, VP of C.A.S.H.
Trophy hunting is the selective hunting of wild game for human recreation. In “Trophy Hunting” the entire animal or part of the animal is kept as the “trophy.” It is frequently kept as a remembrance of the hunt. The game sought is usually the oldest with the largest body size, largest antlers or other distinguishing attributes.
Trophy hunting has both supporters as well as opponents – both from within the hunting fraternity and from outside of it. Discussions concerning trophy hunting are not only about the question of the morality of recreational hunting and the supposed conservation efforts of hunting, but also the observed decline in the animal species that are targets for trophy hunting.
Trophy hunting occurs internationally at many levels. We all remember the worldwide press coverage and outcry that Cecil received with many negative comments regarding that taking.
Was it legal?
Was Cecil “set up” for the kill by a wealthy American?
What was the benefit of the money paid by the hunter to the local community?
and so on..
However, let’s restrict this discussion to the US only and look at the arguments in favor and opposed to trophy hunting in the US.
In the US, trophy hunters select their targets according to whether the animal has the largest horns, antlers, or other visible attributes that would be of importance to pass on to future generations – in other words, they are genetically laden with attributes that need to be passed on to future generations for the benefit of the species as a whole.
To selectively kill off these genetically laden members of the species will gradually diminish these positive attributes from appearing in future versions of the species as a whole. In other words, the species, as a whole would slowly but surely decline.
Trophy hunting causes what has been referred to as “unnatural selection.” It has been shown to reduce antler size and body size in roe deer and horn size and body size in mountain sheep.
This unnatural selection which is common to all groups that are trophy hunted likely compromises the long-term viability of all terrestrial and aquatic species.
You can read more here: Fred Allendorf and Jeffery Hard, “Human Induced Evolution Caused by Unnatural Selection through Harvest of Wild Animals,” Proceedings of the National Academy of Science 106 (2009); 9987-94.
To compensate for smaller bucks, game managers now cooperate with the Quality Deer Management Association to build herds with large antlers for sport hunting.
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