I agree wholeheartedly with Roger Field’s article about the new legislation regarding ivory [Ivory owners: a criminal class?, October issue]. This will not save the life of a single elephant.
That elephants are being poached is beyond doubt but the hoo-ha that results from the legal hunting of a single animal, with the appropriate permit, is totally unjustified. It seems that the animal rights brigade deem it unacceptable for sovereign nations to manage their wildlife in a manner that results in the death of a single elephant. The message that these organisations put over is that they want to save the African elephant from extinction but the reality is that in Africa the elephant is nowhere near extinction. In some countries in East Africa the populations have declined significantly due to poaching, but in southern Africa there are far too many elephants. In 2013, the government of Botswana counted more than 200,000 elephants, the same survey revealing that all other species have declined by 60% to 90%. Elephants are destructive feeders, have no natural predators and will double in population in under 10 years. The result of this will be a huge loss of biodiversity in areas with large elephant populations.
Is this what our generation wants, or should we encourage the management of sustainable elephant populations in the interest of biodiversity?
Lindsay Jamieson Sherborne, Dorset