Target: Greg Sheehan, Acting Director of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
Goal: Ban the import of all giraffe hunting trophies into the United States.
The world’s tallest animal is in danger of vanishing thanks to the greed of trophy hunters. Over the past 30 years, the sub-Saharan African giraffe population has plummeted by nearly half, as foreign hunters, many from the United States, have hunted the majestic creatures for their spotted skins or simply for the bragging rights. Experts warn that unless trophy hunters are prevented from bringing coveted giraffe trophies back to the United States, all giraffes may face a “silent extinction.”
Over the past decade, it is believed that American trophy hunters have brought back over 21,000 giraffe bone carvings, roughly 3,000 skin pieces and thousands of other miscellaneous hunting ‘souvenirs.’ Each trophy represents a part of a once-living animal and attests to the fact that American hunters have slaughtered thousands of these creatures needlessly. Yet the United States government has failed to recognize the giraffe’s plight, as none of the nine subspecies of giraffe are currently considered endangered.
Giraffes are unique inhabitants of African savannas and woodlands that deserve to have a future in the wild. Please sign this petition to demand that the United States stop allowing trophy hunters to drive them to extinction.
Dear Mr. Sheehan,
The giraffe is one of the world’s most recognizable mammals and one of Africa’s most iconic species. Yet as beloved as these creatures are, they are at grave risk of extinction thanks to trophy hunters, many of whom are traveling from the United States with the hopes of bringing back hunting souvenirs, including skins and bone pieces. Giraffes are being killed at unsustainable rates, and if this is allowed to continue, it is likely they may disappear forever.
Your department has a responsibility to protect endangered wildlife. That is why we, the undersigned, are urging you to at long last classify giraffes as endangered and prevent the import of all giraffe hunting trophies into the United States.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: Miroslav Duchacek
Target: Scott Darling, Wildlife Program Manager for the Vermont Department of Fish and Wildlife
Goal: Put an end to the open season for hunting crows in the state of Vermont.
Wild crows were targeted by a Vermont hunting club that posted an event on Facebook, announcing that a ‘crow shoot’ would be taking place to see who could bring down the largest numbers of these intelligent native birds. The post generated outrage on social media among bird lovers and animal welfare advocates, prompting the hosts to cancel the event. While this is commendable, it does not change the fact that in the state of Vermont, crows can be legally hunted and killed each year in droves for no other reason than the apparent fun of it.
While crows are not an endangered species, they are a part of the native ecosystem in New England. Furthermore, studies have shown that members of the crow family are remarkably intelligent, rivaling the great apes and cetaceans on certain tests used to demonstrate problem-solving abilities. Allowing people to senselessly kill these birds for recreation is cruel and must not be tolerated.
Crows have every right to exist and be given the chance to coexist with humanity. Sign the petition to demand that the state remove its open season on these birds once and for all.
Dear Mr. Darling,
Crows are native inhabitants of Vermont that have existed in the state for far longer than humans. They are intelligent, social creatures that are adaptable and can live alongside people in peace. There is no reason to kill these birds, except out of spite or bloodlust. That is why we are calling on you to put an end to the open season for crows in your state.
Crows should not be subjected to killing contests for entertainment or publicity purposes. To prevent hunting organizations from staging these barbaric events, we urge you to ban all crow hunts going forward.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: Grendelkhan
Target: Jim Mattis, United States Secretary of Defense
Goal: Demand that the Pentagon work to clean up areas that have been contaminated with military pollution across the United States and worldwide.
The United States military is the world’s largest polluter, producing more toxic waste than the five largest U.S. chemical manufacturers combined. Both domestic and foreign U.S. military bases consistently rank as some of the most polluted places worldwide, with hazardous jet and rocket fuel components being major culprits for contamination. With hundreds of bases listed on the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Superfund cleanup list, it is clear that something must be done.
In the United States, almost 900 of the 1200 sites identified by the EPA as being the worst polluted locations are former military sites and bases. According to retired Michigan congressman John D. Dingell, “almost every military site in this country is seriously contaminated.” Globally, the situation is even worse, from groundwater contamination in Okinawa to depleted uranium leftover from the Gulf War in Iraq.
It is time that the United States military and the Department of Defense (DoD) take necessary measures to clean up their toxic legacy. Sign this petition and demand that more be done to reduce waste and address the severe contamination found at military bases and other installations worldwide.
Dear Secretary Mattis,
The United States military has the dubious honor of being the world’s largest polluter, with almost 900 of the EPA’s Superfund sites consisting of former military bases and other sites. Worldwide, U.S. military actions have left contamination at thousands of locations, from the nuclear fallout on the Marshall Islands and Guam to depleted uranium leftover in Iraq from the Gulf War. At home, Navajo Indian reservations have been poisoned by former DoD-contracted uranium mines. These are just a few of many examples.
It’s time that the U.S. military and Department of Defense act to address these issues that have exposed potentially many millions of people to hazardous waste known to cause cancer and other illnesses. We, the undersigned, urge you to step up efforts to clean up the pollution found at both domestic and foreign bases and to pledge to reduce waste moving forward.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: Ian Cunliffe
Target: Cameron F. Clark, Director of the Indiana Department of Natural Resources
Goal: Do not require animal control officers to euthanize healthy ‘nuisance’ animals removed from properties.
Animal removal specialists may soon be required to euthanize any animals they take from properties if a new rule change occurs in the state of Indiana. According to some pest control experts, the change could result in the wholesale slaughter of raccoons, opossums, coyotes and other animals, along with the possibility that domestic animals such as chickens could be targeted as well. Demand that this inhumane proposal be stopped in its tracks before it has the chance to potentially endanger many innocent lives.
Currently, healthy animals removed by state animal control officers and licensed specialists are released in designated areas. Changing the rule to require that all captured animals be killed, regardless of their health or temperament, will likely result in thousands of animals being needlessly slaughtered each year. The Indiana Department of Natural Resources has stated that the population of raccoons, coyotes and other species must be controlled to prevent the spread of disease, but there is no scientific evidence to back up their claims.
This rule change is reckless and harmful not just to native wildlife but to all animals in Indiana as a whole. Sign below and demand that animal control officers be allowed to conduct their jobs humanely.
Dear Director Clark,
Currently, animal control officers and pest removal specialists are permitted to humanely release healthy wildlife removed from properties in specially designated areas. Your department’s proposal to change this rule and instead require that all captured animals be killed is appalling. Not only will it likely result in the slaughter of thousands of native creatures each year, it may also put livestock and pets at risk.
There is no scientific evidence that killing so-called ‘nuisance’ animals will control their populations or lower the incidence of disease. That is why we urge you to not to enforce this unconscionable rule that will endanger all animals living in Indiana.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: Darkone
Target: Greg Abbott, Governor of Texas
Goal: Put an end to a cruel snake slaughtering event at an annual festival.
For the 60th year, people will flock to Sweetwater, Texas to witness a bloody spectacle in which thousands of rattlesnakes held in a pit will be beheaded and skinned before their eyes. There is no reason behind this senseless killing, and it is time that this sick festival be brought at last to an end.
The Sweetwater Jaycees Festival, held by the United States Junior Chamber, says that its so-called Rattlesnake Roundup is necessary to control the “enormous snake populations” found in and around Sweetwater. However, there is no scientific backing to these claims, and once these snakes are captured, they are kept in tiny boxes without food for weeks while they await their ultimate demise during the festival’s main event.
While the event organizers claim that the festival provides a necessary boost to the local economy each year, there must be a way to encourage tourism to the area without the torturing and killing of innocent snakes. Sign this petition to demand that the Rattlesnake Roundup be ended once and for all.
Dear Governor Abbott,
This year marks the 60th anniversary of the first Rattlesnake Roundup held in Sweetwater, Texas. Each year since then, thousands of snakes have died during a senseless bloodbath as part of the Sweetwater Jaycees Festival. It far past time that this sick tradition be brought to an end.
Rattlesnakes are a natural part of the environment in Texas and do not need to be ‘controlled’ through mass roundups or killings. They do not deserve to be beheaded alive and skinned for the enjoyment of onlookers. That is why we urge you to intervene and tell the event organizers that this barbaric mass slaughter has no place in the 21st century.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: H. Krisp