The United States has very strict poaching laws, as do many other countries, to punish hunters that prey on endangered or threatened animals. However, there are countries, some with many of their own threatened species, which have inneffective, improperly enforced, or non-existant poaching laws, and it is hard (if not impossible) to get every country to agree on universal poaching policy. Also, strict poaching laws means an increase in the value of illegally hunted and traded animals.
I think it will be impossible to eradicate poaching completely, but strictly enforced laws will help countries control it at a level where preserving a species becomes possible.
I agree with the above poster. Poaching will exist as long as a market for poach goods exists. As long as there is high demand for elephant ivory, rhino horns or tiger skins to name a few, sadly poachers will continue to kill these animals. i therefore think appropriate awareness and education is just as much a part of poaching prevention as regulation. After all, in many countries where poaching is significant, laws already exist barring it.
While poaching rings run by criminal syndicates do exist, the fact is that a lot of poachers are rural people living in countries decimated by war, famine and poverty. Many of these people kill endangered animals because it might be the only way to make enough money to feed and care for their families. In fact, some of these people shoot endangerd animals just because they’re desperate for something to eat.
For this reason, while laws and enforcement are definitely important, I think a crucial part of stopping poaching is fighting poverty in human communities. Sometimes, conservation and pulling people out of poverty go hand in hand. For example, certain programs set up national parks or ecotourism programs where local people are employed as park rangers and guides.
I suppose I’m pessimistic. I hope the really endangered animals are able to be protected, but I think there will always be people that do not care to follow the hunting laws, and will kill as they please.
There isn’t just a problem with poaching in other countries, illegal taking of animals exists in the United States as well, although it may not be for skins or horns. People here illegally hunt cougars, wolves and other animals to protect their ranch animals and homes that are in areas that were previously these animals domains. As population rises, the needs of man come into conflict with the needs of the environment and with other species as well, so I don’t think that poaching or other illegal hunting will ever be eradicated, but I think it does help to have could laws and enforcement.
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