Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Letter to US Fish & Wildlife and USDA

Below is a letter I recently wrote to the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Services and USDA re: my hopes that the U.S. bans the import of African lion trophies.

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Importing African lion trophies into the United States


Dear Sir or Madam:

The U.S. currently allows the importation of African lion trophies which I strongly feel should be reversed due to the current alarming decline of the African lion population. Scientists believe that the African lion will become extinct within approximately twenty years if not sooner, if action isn't taken now to prevent such extinction. A large number of sport trophy hunters from the United States travel to Africa every year and pay tens of thousands of dollars to kill the largest and most magnificent male lion they can find. This is altering the lion gene pool by depleting it of the largest males in the species, thereby resulting in not only the continued decline of the population, but altering it so that the lions are slowly becoming smaller in stature over the years as the larger lions are killed.

British Parliament is currently considering banning the importation of lion trophies into the UK and my hope is that the U.S. will follow suit. Mr. Andrew Turner, MP for the Isle of Wight, recently spoke to Parliament on this issue on November 17, 2010. Below is a link to an excerpt from National Geographic Blog of the debate in Parliament.

National Geographic Article on Parliament Debate on Lion Trophies

The link below takes you to the actual complete transcript from Parliament (scroll down to Lion Trophies):

Parliament Debate Transcript on Lion Trophies

I am very active in African lion conservation and have recently returned from Africa where I worked on these efforts. I also volunteer with several conservation groups to assist them in their efforts on behalf of the African lion.

Can you please advise me what action I can take in order to bring this issue before the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service so that this matter can be considered? I would be happy to gather an assembly of speakers on this issue.

Thank you very much for your time and consideration in this very important matter. I look forward to your reply.



Keon Robertson
Austin, Texas


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