Tag: Legal

Breaking! Conservation Groups Take Legal Action To Speed Up Protection For Endangered Giraffes Under The Endangered Species Act

Yesterday, conservation and animal-protection groups filed a notice of intent to sue the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service for failing to consider Endangered Species Act protections for Africa’s rapidly dwindling giraffe population.

The groups, including Center for Biological Diversity, the Humane Society of the United States, and Humane Society International, petitioned for giraffe protections in April 2017, but the species still has not received the legally required finding that was due in April 2018, nor any protection under the Act.

Last year, after a lawsuit filed by the groups, the Fish and Wildlife Service determined that giraffes may qualify for protections under the Act — but the agency has failed to make a decision or implement any protective measures.

“Giraffes are loved by people around the world, so it’s shocking and sad that the U.S. government is ignoring their tragic plight,” said Tanya Sanerib, international legal director at the Center for Biological Diversity, in a statement. “As giraffe populations plummet, these extraordinary creatures desperately need the Endangered Species Act’s sturdy shield. But three years after we petitioned for protections, federal officials are still stalling on safeguards for everyone’s favorite longnecked mammal.”

With fewer than 69,000 individuals remaining in the wild, giraffes have been undergoing what has been called a silent extinction. Giraffe populations have dropped nearly 40% due to habitat loss, civil unrest, and poaching. The international trade in bone carvings, skins, and trophies puts additional pressure on these iconic animals.

“The United States has an important role to play in preventing extinction of these magnificent creatures, as the top importer of giraffe trophies, and as many Americans import giraffe parts — including bones and skins — to sell for commercial purposes in the U.S.,” said Adam Peyman, wildlife programs director for Humane Society International. “The time has long passed for the Fish and Wildlife Service to take action and put in place desperately needed protections.”

Parties to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) decided in 2019 to regulate international trade in giraffes — including trophies and other body parts — by placing the species on Appendix II. But several key exporting countries in Africa have expressed that they do not intend to implement or enforce CITES requirements with respect to giraffes, even though the listing only requires export permits and reporting of international trade in giraffes. Protection under the Endangered Species Act is desperately needed to help curb imports of giraffe bones, trophies, and other parts to the United States and increase funding for conservation efforts for the species.

On average, the United States imports more than one dead giraffe “hunting trophy” a day, and imported more than 21,400 giraffe bone carvings between 2006 and 2015. Many of the imported giraffe parts are turned into frivolous decorative items such as pillows, boots, or jackets.

The International Union for the Conservation of Nature assessed giraffes as “vulnerable” to extinction in 2016 and classified two giraffe subspecies as “endangered” and two more as “critically endangered” in 2018.

You can help all animals and our planet by choosing compassion on your plate and in your glass. #GoVeg

The post Breaking! Conservation Groups Take Legal Action To Speed Up Protection For Endangered Giraffes Under The Endangered Species Act appeared first on World Animal News.

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WAN Exclusive With The Sergeant Working On A Tragic Case Of Illegal Coyote Trapping In Massachusetts; $5,000 Reward Offered By Animal Legal Defense Fund

The Animal Legal Defense Fund is offering a $5,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person or persons responsible for illegally trapping a coyote in Essex County, Massachusetts.

The male coyote, who was approximately five months old, was caught in a Duke #160 Body Trap, which are illegal in Massachusetts. The barbaric and indiscriminate trap was placed, by a person or persons, in an area near a local golf course where wild coyotes sometimes roam. These lethal traps are often used for capturing smaller animals such as raccoons and groundhogs.

WAN talked exclusively with Sergeant Locke from the Swampscott Police Department this morning to find out the status of the investigation. While he was limited on what he could share since it is an ongoing investigation, he did confirm that the department and animal control are continuing to work on the case.

“There is no update yet, but we are looking for other instances of illegal trapping,” Locke told WAN, noting that they are also trying to find cameras that may contain useful footage. “Hopefully, this gets a resolution because the traps are not safe for animals or anyone.”

Once found, the person or persons responsible for setting the illegal trap will be charged with animal cruelty and illegal trapping. According to Locke, both charges are substantial.

As per Animal Legal Defense Fund, the poor coyote ran off after being trapped and it took authorities a few days to rescue the animal who was emaciated and suffered a broken jaw. In total, the trap was on his snout for about a week, which prevented him from eating. Tragically, the damage to his jaw was irreparable and the young coyote had to be euthanized.

This is yet another example of why the cruel and indiscriminate trapping of animals should be illegal, period.

“Much like the companion animals we consider family, wildlife animals are capable of feeling pain and deserve to be protected under the law,” Animal Legal Defense Fund Executive Director, Stephen Wells, said in a statement. “We commend the Swampscott Police Department for taking this case seriously and urge anyone with information about this crime to come forward.”

In Massachusetts, it is a felony offense to knowingly and willingly inflict cruelty to an animal. Under a recent amendment to the law, the maximum penalty for animal cruelty is seven years in a state prison or a fine of up to $5,000, or both.

If you have information related to this incident, please contact the Swampscott Police Department and Animal Control at (781) 595-1111.

You can help all animals and our planet by choosing compassion on your plate and in your glass. #GoVeg

The post WAN Exclusive With The Sergeant Working On A Tragic Case Of Illegal Coyote Trapping In Massachusetts; $5,000 Reward Offered By Animal Legal Defense Fund appeared first on World Animal News.

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