Animal Protection Groups and the Bushmeat Crisis Task Force
BCTF represents the interests of a diverse membership, with animal welfare groups well represented since inception. The Fund for Animals, Humane Society of the United States (HSUS), Human Society International, International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW), Greenpeace, and the World Society for the Protection of Animals (WSPA) are among the organizational signatories to the February 1999 Consensus Statement calling for immediate action to address the bushmeat crisis in tropical African countries. Today, The Fund for Animals, Humane Society–U.S. (HSUS), and IFAW are all active Supporting Members of the BCTF. Each of these organizations supports a number of projects that fight the commercial bushmeat trade, promote alternatives, or protect the welfare of individual animals.
Fund For Animals
Chris Wolf, Director of Government and International Affairs
The Fund for Animals lends financial and strategic support to several programs in Africa. In Zimbabwe, they assist the Dete Animal Rescue Trust, a team of volunteers and wildlife veterinarians who dart animals injured in snares and other traps, and administer medical care. DART also relocates animals from areas of human conflict to less densely populated regions. The situation in Zimbabwe is dire – animals are poached for bushmeat at an increasing rate due to the collapse of a functional government and an unproductive land seizure policy. The Fund for Animals is also partnered with Classic Africa Safaris (CAS), an ecotourism company in Uganda and Rwanda, to expand its Adopt-a-School program. CAS clients donate supplies to schools on the periphery of national parks and other tourist venues, and staff from The Fund give regular presentations to students about wildlife and the interdependency of animals and people. In Kenya, The Fund for Animals assists the Kenya Wildlife Service with its undercover operations and its anti-poaching unit. We are also one of the original architects of The Bilateral Ranger Training Initiative, a program in which wildlife officials from Rwanda and Uganda collaborate to exchange information and policies on tourism, primate protection, and enforcement matters.
Humane Society of the United States (HSUS)
Dr. Teresa M. Telecky, Director, Wildlife Trade Program
HSUS efforts on the bushmeat issue include keeping their members informed and suggesting actions they can take to make their concerns about the bushmeat trade known to lawmakers and others; lobbying the U.S. Congress for passage of the Great Ape Conservation Act and for funding for the Act; participating in, and providing financial support for, international coalitions dedicated to addressing the bushmeat crisis, including Ape Alliance and the BCTF; and advocating greater international protection for certain species of wildlife that are traded as bushmeat through activities under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES). The HSUS has also provided financial support for projects that promote protection of species traded as bushmeat. For example, The HSUS joined other organizations to provide financial support to the Emergency Relief Mission for Congo's National Parks. To date, the mission has provided rain gear, rubber boots, tents, clothes, blankets, backpacks, water canteens and medicines to Park rangers in the Democratic Republic of Congo. HSUS has also provided financial support for anti-poaching efforts in South Africa's Kruger National Park.
International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW)
Kelvin Alie, Wildlife Projects Coordinator, Animals in Distress Program
IFAW has offices in 13 countries, many of which address bushmeat issues. IFAW-US has assisted with design and preparation for the upcoming PASA education workshop (including a bushmeat component) on June 2003, and supports research investigating the ecological sustainability of the bushmeat trade. IFAW-EU participated in organizing and presenting a bushmeat petition to the European Parliament (see BQ#7), and is now hosting the Bushmeat Campaign in their offices. IFAW-UK is also working to end the bushmeat trade in London and throughout the UK via collaboration with London City government, pressure to improve law enforcement at the national level, and public awareness within African communities in the UK. IFAW-EU also supported the bushmeat petition, and is developing a project with WWF to address bushmeat transport in Gabon on the Transgabonais Railway. IFAW-EU has also produced Monkey Business, a report on the bushmeat trade in Gabon researched and written by Mark van Dorp (English & French). The report is being distributed to policy and decision makers in Europe; please contact the IFAW-EU office for further information. These three offices all have efforts related to Gabon’s bushmeat trade, and participate in the BCTF, Ape Alliance, Great Ape Survival Project (GrASP), and the UK Tropical Forest Forum.