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New template letter to your UK MP

Saturday 12th April 2014

Dear …..

I am greatly concerned about the practice of “canned” lion hunting in South Africa. It is estimated that 8,000 lions are bred to supply this sordid industry that has seen the export of well over 4,000 “hunting” trophies during the five years 2007-2011.

These lions are captive raised from birth, bottle fed, petted, walked with and then finally shot (often after being drugged) in small enclosures. These lions have no fear of humans, and are shot with rifles, bow-and-arrow, and even pistols. Canned hunting has raised world-wide concern as it is immoral, cruel and unethical.

One very decisive means of putting a stop to this inhumane practice is to prohibit any further imports of lion trophies from South Africa into the European Union.

I would therefore ask you to please support Early Day Motion 1280 by Jeremy Corbin MP to request the issue be debated in Parliament (http://www.parliament.uk/edm/print/2013-14/1280).


Thank you for your interest in this matter,

Sincerely

xxx

Add a comment | Posted by Chris Macsween at 13:42

Follow up letter to your UK MP

Saturday 12th April 2014

Dear …..

Thank you for your reply to my letter expressing my concern about the practice of “canned” lion hunting in South Africa. It is estimated that 8,000 lions are bred to supply this sordid industry that has seen the export of well over 4,000 “hunting” trophies during the five years 2007-2011.

As I mentioned, these lions are captive raised from birth, bottle fed, petted, walked with and then finally shot (often after being drugged) in small enclosures. These lions have no fear of humans, and are shot with rifles, bow-and-arrow, and even pistols. Canned hunting has raised world-wide concern as it is immoral, cruel and unethical.

One very decisive means of putting a stop to this inhumane practice is to prohibit any further imports of lion trophies from South Africa into the European Union.

I would therefore ask you to please support Early Day Motion 1280 by Jeremy Corbin MP to request the issue be debated in Parliament (http://www.parliament.uk/edm/print/2013-14/1280).


Thank you for your continued interest in this matter,

Sincerely

xxx

Add a comment | Posted by Chris Macsween at 13:36

Letter from Ed Miliband

Add a comment | Posted by Chris Macsween at 14:11

IFP banner

 

 

Please click this link to read the message of support delivered by the Hon. Narend Singh MP of the IFP at the Durban Global March for Lions on the 15th March 2014.

Add a comment | Posted by Chris Macsween at 13:31

Lion marchers! We are being heard!

Thursday 20th March 2014

GML Stop Canned Hunting Now

  • In South Africa, a motion from the Inkhata Freedom Party was passed by the National Assembly to put an end to canned hunting.IFP Motion
  • In South Africa, a local council in Port Elizabeth has decided to remove their subsidies for organizations that could have connections with breeding lions for canned hunting.
  • In Europe, letters written to Members of European Parliament have been met with promises to ban the import of at least South African lion trophies to the EU.

Please keep up the pressure! The Global March for Lions on March 15th was an event heard all over the world. It is estimated that 70,000 of us marched in 62 cities. It was the biggest march ever for any species.


Why? Because we all know the plight of lions has been ignored – we know that there are fewer wild lions left on the planet than elephants, rhinos, polar bears, chimpanzees, orang-utans, lowland gorillas.


Why? Because lions are being captive bred as part of what can only be called the most sordid and cynical industry invented by blood merchants.


Enough is enough.

Keep up the pressure. Keep your letters flowing. Be the change and be proud to say to everyone you know ---“I marched on March 15, I will never stop taking action, join me in making the change”!

 

Template letter to MPs here

 

Template letter to MEPs here

Add a comment | Posted by Chris Macsween at 21:04

Template letter to send to your MEP

Tuesday 18th March 2014


GML Logo

 

During the Global March Against Canned Lion Hunting in London, we asked all of you to write your MPs and MEPs to give their legislative support to prevent any more lion hunting trophies from ever entering the EU again.

GML LogoPlease take the following template letter to your local MEP as just a suggestion. Please personalize it and make your own points. You marched as individuals, it will be your vote and your voice that is important to them.

Please also note that you must identify your own MP and MEP – only letters from a member of constituency will have their letters read and acted upon. If you have not already done so, please register yourself on your local voter’s rolls.

 

Here is a template for your MEP letter:

 


Dear xxx

As your constituent, I would request your support to bring a Motion to European Parliament banning any further import of lion trophies from South Africa into the EU. Well over 8,000 lions are being bred in captivity to supply the sordid canned hunting trade. Canned hunting entails captive bred lions completely used to humans being placed in a confined area to be shot by paying “hunters” using rifles, bow and arrow, and even pistols.
The lion breeders also derive funds from EU volunteer agencies to supply them with a constant stream of innocent young people believing they are assisting lion conservation paying money to raise lion cubs that they believe will be returned to the wild. In fact they are being raised to be killed for trophies on walls.

For far too long South Africa has been allowed to continue this unethical and immoral practice.

On March 15th, people in 62 cities across the world in 21 countries marched on the streets to protest against canned hunting. In the EU, there were marches in the UK, Netherlands, Italy, Sweden, Belgium, Germany, Spain, Portugal, France and more. This was the biggest demonstration ever to raise awareness for a wildlife issue.

As your constituent I would ask you to please use your voice to speak out. On February 13th, a world summit was organized in London by Prince Charles, The Duke of Cambridge, and David Cameron to put a halt to the illegal trade in wildlife products. Proper conservation of our world wildlife heritage is becoming a more and more important issue politically.

Precedents for this type of action include the EU ban on imports of seal skins from Namibia and Canada as the industry is based on animal cruelty.

Thank you for your urgent attention to this matter,

Yours,
Xxx

 GML Stop Canned Hunting Now

Add a comment | Posted by Chris Macsween at 20:12

Template letter to send to your MP

Tuesday 18th March 2014

GML Logo

During the Global March Against Canned Lion Hunting in London, we asked all of you to write your MPs and MEPs to give their legislative support to prevent any more lion hunting trophies from ever entering the EU again.

GML Trafalgar SquarePlease take the following template letter to your local MP as just a suggestion. Please personalize it and make your own points. You marched as individuals, it will be your vote and your voice that is important to them.

Please also note that you must identify your own MP – only letters from a member of constituency will have their letters read and acted upon. If you have not already done so, please register yourself on your local voter’s rolls.

 

Here is a template for your local MP letter:

 

Dear xxx

As your constituent, I would request your support to bring a Motion to Parliament banning any further import of lion trophies from South Africa into the UK and the EU. Well over 8,000 lions are being bred in captivity to supply the sordid canned hunting trade. Canned hunting of lions was first revealed by Roger Cook of the award winning Cook Report – it entails captive bred lions completely used to humans being placed in a confined area to be shot by paying “hunters” using rifles, bow and arrow, and even pistols.
The lion breeders also derive funds from UK volunteer agencies to supply them with a constant stream of innocent young people believing they are assisting lion conservation paying money to raise lion cubs that they believe will be returned to the wild. In fact they are being raised to be killed for trophies on walls.

For far too long South Africa has been allowed to continue this unethical and immoral practice.

On March 15th, people in 62 cities across the world in 21 countries marched on the streets to protest against canned hunting. In London alone, well over 1,000 people from all over the UK demonstrated to put an end to canned lion hunting. This was the biggest demonstration ever to raise awareness for a wildlife issue.

As your constituent I would ask you to please use your voice to speak out. On February 13th, a world summit was organized in London by Prince Charles, The Duke of Cambridge, and David Cameron to put a halt to the illegal trade in wildlife products. Proper conservation of our world wildlife heritage is becoming a more and more important issue politically.

Precedents for this type of action include the EU ban on imports of seal skins from Namibia and Canada as the industry is based on animal cruelty.

Thank you for your urgent attention to this matter,

Yours,

Xxx

 

GML Houses of ParliamentGML On Westminster Bridge

Add a comment | Posted by Chris Macsween at 20:03

 

 If you have followed our news blogs, many of you will know that LionAid is proposing to conduct an innovative predator/livestock damage mitigation project in Kenya.

We are pleased to present to you today this short video which explains a little more about this work and below we will explain why it is so important.

Over 100 lions a year are killed in Kenya as a result of retaliatory killings by rural communities,

Dead lion cubsparticularly in areas where community land adjoins protected areas like National Parks and National Wildlife Reserves.

These communities are now suffering from debilitating losses of their valuable livestock to predation incidents.

Predation incident Look at the photographs in the video above and just imagine how you would feel if you woke up in the morning to find your livestock destroyed and your cattle enclosures trashed. Maybe difficult to imagine? For you and I,this would be like waking up to find our bank accounts plundered overnight - but with little recourse to compensation.

 

Believe it or not, these wildlife retaliatory killings represent the last resort of people who feelAnother predation incident theyhave nowhere else to turn to protect their livelihoods. In Kenya, 70% of wildlife occurs outside protected areas – on community land.

To add to this, the spectre of wildlife crime is now rearing its ugly head. What better recruiting ground for the criminal syndicates who need foot soldiers than disaffected communities?

This vicious circle needs to be broken. Not only to safeguard the community, but also to ensure that healthy populations of wildlife can co-exist with livestock on community land.

Livestock & wildlifeHere the big benefit of such peaceful co-existence comes into play. It paves the way for additional future sustainable employment for the communities themselves from eco-tourism and conservancy ventures.

We need a sustainable scheme that compensates the communities reliably, fully and promptly for any livestock losses to predation whilst, at the same time, ensuring that their livestock enclosures (bomas) are adequately protected.

The scheme highlighted in the video above is the concept of the Maasai communities themselves and has their full support. They will run the scheme themselves

andMaasai Elders will decide the rules of their constitution. Their council of Elders, crucially, will decide case by case if any reported predation incidents are genuine.

Once bomas are adequately protected with flashing lights,experience has shown that predation incidents drop by a margin of at least 70%.

This means that the insurance herd (see video for details) has the potential to breed and provide a profit to the communities. These profits can be distributed back to community members at the discretion of the Council of Elders.

 

We are delighted to say that this scheme has met with the full approval of the Kenya Government

Governor Kajiado provincethrough the County Governor of Kajiado in Kenya( pictured right with LionAid), who has welcomed the interventions we are putting in place “to ensure that …conflict is mitigated in an environmentally sustainable way”.

 

Please DONATE if you can and help us put together this scheme which can be replicated all over Africa – wherever predator/livestock conflict occurs.

 

          

Add a comment | Posted by Chris Macsween at 19:19

Testing a cost effective and innovative predator/livestock conflict mitigation programme in Kenya

In June this year, Pieter and Chris from LionAid went out to Kenya to explore ways in which we could work together pastoral communities to bring a fresh resolution to the predator-livestock conflict that has proved to one of the most challenging issues in predator conservation. Retaliation against predators is one of the significant factors contributing to the catastrophic decline in lion populations.

 Communities are often expected to live with predators but can experience substantial livestock losses. In addition pastoralists often have to invest considerable resources in livestock herding, guarding and predator control, adding significantly to cycles of poverty among rural communities. In many African pastoralist societies, livestock also has a cultural value exceeding economic worth as cattle are valued for social, political, cultural and religious reasons. Livestock assets are the primary form of wealth acquisition and storage in these communities, and such assets are particularly vulnerable to coexistence with predators.

Past payment schemes have attempted to remedy the problem, but many rarely outweigh the costs of livestock predation. These schemes also rely on the constant supply of new funding to maintain the programmes.

The Big Life Foundation in Kenya has had considerable success to date with their compensation programme and we congratulate them on that. They also must rely on new funding to keep the programme on track but as I write this, they are enthusiastically embarking on the next funding trip to Europe. But one solution is never going to solve the problem in all situations are we are convinced  the new approach we are testing (detailed below) will meaningfully add to the overall remedy to halt the decline in Africa’s carnivores.

In June this year, we were privileged to spend time among the Maasai communities in Kenya, in Kitengela and Olepolos, two of the conflict hotspots that have seen lions and other predators killed in retaliation for raids on livestock.

The Elders in these communities welcomed us warmly and were very pleased to be consulted as to their ideas for new ways forward. From them, we deepened our understanding of these conflict issues and we were guided by them as to fresh approaches to resolve the difficulties they face. 

Based on these meetings we jointly decided that a pilot programme was needed to determine best methodologies before wider application across Africa. 

This scheme is unique in that there is unlikely to be further need for expensive programmes to support compensation, the programme will quickly be self-sustaining, will provide additional revenue directly linked  to predators, and will significantly reduce cycles of poverty caused by wildlife conflict. The compensation schemes would need to be directly linked to deterrent measures, including the need to construct predator resistant bomas equipped with proper fencing, night lights, motion sensors, etc   Briefly, these innovative measures can be summed up as follows: 

 a) The "insurance" herd concept works on the model that partial cost of establishing deterrent measures at the bomas would be offset by provision of one calf per protected boma. This calf would be raised in a herd established on a private ranch or maybe differentiated as a locally maintained herd. Predation on community livestock would then be compensated by direct substitution. The "insurance" herd could at some time be subjected to commercial takeoff to ensure maintenance of deterrent systems and/or joint profits to the ranchers/communities. If housed with the ranchers, they would be expected to pay maintenance costs of the "insurance" herd, for example by paying the costs of dipping, needed veterinary care, etc.

 b) The "investor" herd concept is similar, but in this case the communities would accept a number of animals bought by investors to be placed with their herds. In case of loss to the community herds, direct substitution could be made from the "investor" animals. The investors should be able to recoup any remaining funds after 2-3 years when their livestock is sold, with an agreed % of the sale given to the communities. Care would be taken to ensure that placement of "investor animals" within community herds would not lead to overstocking.

 

This innovative programme potentially has many positive outcomes:

• Substituting a community-derived compensation scheme to effectively counter the continuing frustration with existing compensation programmes

• Effective equipping of livestock bomas to deter and prevent livestock losses by wildlife predation

• Provide local people with additional revenue opportunities directly linked to carnivores

• Prevention of retaliatory killings of valuable predators

• Have a positive impact on human poverty

 This project will be conducted over 24 months and we will need in excess of £260,000 to see it through to its completion.

We are planning to run these pilots in four conflict hotspot areas:

• the most Westerly is Olepolos area where predation is predominantly leopards attacking shoats in the night enclosures

• Kitengela is 70% shoat and 30% cattle predation by overwhelmingly lion.

• Isinya is 90% shoat predation by, in order - hyena, leopard and infrequently lion.

• Muereshi is 60% cattle predation mainly by lions followed by hyena and leopard

 How can you help?

The overwhelming need is for fundraising to help us reach our £260,000 target. We are absolutely delighted that Care for the Wild have already decided to support us in this project and they have provided the initial funds that have brought us to Kenya this week to kick off the project. They will join us in fundraising initiatives and we thank them very much for this.

Below are some of the things that your fundraising support will purchase to fulfil the requirements of this project:

• Mini Laptop £300/$495  - we need to purchase five.

• Photocopier/printer £60/$100 – we need to purchase one.

• External Hard Drive £70/$115 – we need to purchase one.

• Safaricom Modem  £40/$66 – we need to purchase five.

• Motorbike £720/$1180 – we need to purchase four.

• GPS Unit £180/$300 – we need to purchase four.

• Digital camera/battery/charger £110/$180 – we need to purchase four.

• Memory cards £6/$10 – we need to purchase four

• Boma Upgrade Kit £100/$164 – we need to purchase a minimum of five hundred.

• Four wheel drive hire per month £1290/$2065/pm - 3 months per annum

• Four wheel drive maintenance per month £60/$100

• Four wheel drive fuel per month £160/$260

• Motorbike maintenance per month £60/$100

• Motorbike fuel per month £115/$190

• Motorbike Insurance per month £25/$40

 

Click here to see the gallery of photos and videos we already have to show you the scope of this project. This gallery will be updated regularly as we add in new photographs so please earmark this blog and revisit regularly!

 

We will also provide regular updates as we continue the work and the details of the planning begin to unfold.

 

Be part of this new concept in lion conservation. Each and everyone of you can play a part and be justifiably proud of the contribution you have made to ensuring the continued survival of our iconic predator species and by helping these pastoral communities maintain the necessary land for conservation.

Add a comment | Posted by Chris Macsween at 16:47

The LionAid Conference on the conservation needs and status of African lions - Action Plans

 

 

Following a very successful and landmark LionAid conference on the conservation needs and status of African lions in Johannesburg on the 29th and 30th March, we are delighted to now publish the Action Plans agreed by the delegates.

 

The Management and Scientific Authorities of seven African lion range States attended as follows:
Cameroon, Ethiopia, Kenya, Malawi, Mozambique, Nigeria and Senegal.

 

We now very much look forward to working with all these African lion range States to initiate regional and pan-African lion conservation measures to halt current catastrophic population declines in this iconic species.

 

Click here to access the Action Plans.

Add a comment | Posted by Chris Macsween at 18:40