Calls To Ban Trade Of Giraffe Parts In US Grow As They Face Extinction
A campaign has launched to ban the trade of giraffe body parts in the US, as the species faces a ‘silent extinction’.
Stand Tall for Giraffes, launched by Kids Against Animal Poaching (KAAP) in partnership with The Independent and Space for Giants, is seeking a ban on giraffe imports across the country, as well as the animal being listed under the Endangered Species Act, which has prevented 99% of its listed animals from dying out.
KAAP’s website notes: ‘Action must be taken to end this cruel trade. We must Stand Tall for Giraffes, and help save one of our most beloved species from extinction.’
According to the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s Red List, giraffe populations have declined around 40%, leaving less than 100,000 in the wild due to poaching, as well as loss of habitat due to growing human populations and the effects of climate change.
Emily Walker, who founded KAAP in 2015 at the age of 13, told The Independent:
I was stunned to learn about the silent extinction of giraffes that is happening right now. These animals need us now more than ever. I think a lot of us took giraffes for granted as the focus was on saving species such as elephants and rhinos.
It’s a difficult and challenging time with a global pandemic, racial injustice and ensuring everyone’s vote is counted in the most important US election of our lifetime, but giraffes cannot be put on the back burner. We need to act now to help them.
The website explains: ‘Thousands are slaughtered each year to make household items and the United States, home to one of the world’s largest market for giraffe parts, is partly to blame.’
An earlier investigation by the publication as part of its Stop the Illegal Wildlife Trade campaign found that the US is the world’s biggest market for giraffe products. In 2018, Humane Society International indicated this when it found 40,000 giraffe parts had been imported to the US from Africa between 2006-2015.
Launching today, October 4, also World Animal Day, the campaign asks you to write to Secretary of the Interior David Bernhardt.
Dr. Max Graham, founder and CEO of Space for Giants, added: ‘The plight of Africa’s giraffes has been hidden amid a global focus on saving keystone species, such as the rhino and elephant. But giraffes are under serious threat from poaching and habitat loss.’
Urging people to take action, he said: ‘We must act now to protect them and the natural ecosystems they rely on from unsustainable and dangerous exploitation.’
To find out more about the campaign and how to contact Bernhardt, click here.
If you have a story you want to tell, send it to UNILAD via [email protected]
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