Examining Animal Welfare In The US Wildlife Trade

RoachCoach

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As much as I love your resolve aimed at responsibility, there is just so much money by a staggering order for illicit animals. It's like us saying "hey Mexico, stop sending fentanyl." They lose money to regulation. Nothing is better than telling your boss you are losing sales. There actually is. If your boss shoots you in the face and your entire family if you underperform.
 

Hardus nameous

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It has a good first paragraph, but that's all I can get through before the "sign up for our crap" ads appear.
 

viper69

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goliathusdavid

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As much as I love your resolve aimed at responsibility, there is just so much money by a staggering order for illicit animals. It's like us saying "hey Mexico, stop sending fentanyl." They lose money to regulation. Nothing is better than telling your boss you are losing sales. There actually is. If your boss shoots you in the face and your entire family if you underperform.
You're not wrong. Any regulation passed is going to be against a tremendously powerful (and lucrative industry) - but that doesn't mean it shouldn't be passed. There is no doubt in my mind that it is a difficult (nearly impossible) road ahead to get the legislation that we need passed, passed, but I don't think that means we should stop trying. Crazier things have happened - let's not forget the government took on the tobacco industry, and, in a lot of ways, won.
Honestly, I think the greatest difficulty is going to be getting the money and resources for actual enforcement. 261 Federal wildlife enforcement officers is just not enough. There would need to be a massive increase in both personnel and resources.
So in summary, you're right that the odds are not good for dramatically changing the US wildlife trade. But I don't think it's hopeless enough to stop trying.
 

Scorpiobsession

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I think that it's pointless to punish responsible keepers when it's the irresponsible keepers causing the problems. All of these bills and regulations and bannings. It should be regulation instead of banning everything.
 

goliathusdavid

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I think that it's pointless to punish responsible keepers when it's the irresponsible keepers causing the problems. All of these bills and regulations and bannings. It should be regulation instead of banning everything.
I agree that legislation should focused on regulating rather than banning. And that responsible keepers should not be punished. But I think even responsible keepers should be subject to some regulation\permitting. I don't think anyone deserves a free pass - responsible zoos certainly don't get one, why should individuals?
 

Malum Argenteum

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The article is discussing international wildlife trade. Not completely irrelevant to the title of the thread, but a bit diagonal to it.

The article primarily cites a trade organization, and two animal rights organizations well known for spreading misinformation. Citing an academic expert or six would be useful, but the closest it gets is an "independent biologist". Hmmm.

I wouldn't go so far as to deny the truth of the observations and data in the article, but as a starting point for discussion it is a pretty clickbaity choice. It sure primes the subject in a certain direction -- just like the article does by starting out with a disturbing narrative. Walt Disney is nothing if not a master of psychology.
 

goliathusdavid

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The article is discussing international wildlife trade. Not completely irrelevant to the title of the thread, but a bit diagonal to it.

The article primarily cites a trade organization, and two animal rights organizations well known for spreading misinformation. Citing an academic expert or six would be useful, but the closest it gets is an "independent biologist". Hmmm.

I wouldn't go so far as to deny the truth of the observations and data in the article, but as a starting point for discussion it is a pretty clickbaity choice. It sure primes the subject in a certain direction -- just like the article does by starting out with a disturbing narrative. Walt Disney is nothing if not a master of psychology.
Are some of sources the article cites questionable? Yes. Don't even get me started on my hatred for PETA. But NatGeo's Wildlife Watch is also one of the leading media groups on wildlife crime, so I don't think it's unreasonable to present one of their articles to start a discussion. Their op ed last spring (written by a former wildlife inspector I might add) was one of the few really good articles addressing the US's vulnerability to pandemics due to its poorly regulated trade. When so much of the US was blaming China, they turned the lens on our own lack of regulation. Despite their sensationalist writing, they are a reliable source.
I am also happy to provide you with more scholarly papers on the wildlife trade and it's impacts upon request. And regardless of some of the citations of the article, you can't deny many of the facts: the US is the largest player in the exotic pet trade, and many of the conditions of that poorly regulated trade are atrocious. One key point which I think the article fails to address is the fact that so many exotics in poor conditions (particularly in the same area) can be breeding ground for pathogens, and quite possibly, future pandemics.
You're free to critique the article as you like, but it's still a valuable and necessary discussion to be having.
 

Scorpiobsession

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I agree that there should be restrictions on imported animals but I don't think there should be heavy restrictions on animals already inside the US. I think there should be restrictions (Anyone can go and buy a gaboon viper for $200) but I don't think it's necessary to have hundreds of expensive permits and millions of dollars in insurances. I think permits should be required and possibly a test on care for these animals (written by someone experienced).
 

Malum Argenteum

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Yes, that op ed was a pretty decent read.

But then there are articles like this one, which makes factually incorrect claims about how a certain morph came into existence (a claim that is central to the argument the article makes about the benefits of captive breeding), and interviews a known frog smuggler as a source for how captive breeding saves wild populations (at the date of publication, this was openly known on the internet, and the guy is currently selling illegal animals on the open market). Really egregious mistakes.

I don't deny the facts (which I already stated). I deny the legitimacy of sloppy fact checking in publishing, the use of psychological manipulation (even -- no, especially -- when it is being used to support things I believe to be true, which is what is happening here) in argumentation, and agenda pushing masquerading as journalism.

To suggest that a media outlet can be both sensationalist and reliable is to fail to understand how sensationalism works.
 

Scorpiobsession

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I was just able to read the article and it mainly mentions irresponsible importers that can't ship an animal safely. It has some points but most of it wasn't very good information.
 

The Snark

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Exotic animal trade. Restrictions and regulations. A little tiny bandage on a symptom. Dealing with a small detail while the big picture goes ignored.

The planet and all life on it is ours to despoil, consume and destroy. Our toy or a way to make a profit. The end goal for those who run the shows is the accumulation of vast amounts of wealth and luxuries at the expense of the planet.


I hiked up a mountain accompanied by an elderly man. Topping the ridge he took out an old photograph of the vast valley of rainforest we were looking down on. He pointed out where the village was where he was born. Where the river ran through they brought water from. Where the monkey families moved through eating the fruit in the trees they lived in. Where he had encountered a great cat that had come down to the river for a drink.
The entire valley we were looking into, about 2 miles across, was just a hole in the ground. A huge quarry. No river, not a single tree. The only living things were the people operating the machinery cutting and hauling out the rock.


Until we teach, learn and live responsibility, it's all about little bandages on tiny problems. The earth and what lives on it belongs to each and every one of us equally. Take more than your fair share you are stealing from others. Everyone has the right to walk unspoiled wilderness as the animals have the right to a habitat that nurtures and shelters them.
Time to rethink our place in the world and what we are giving future generations. Greed and glut at the expense of our environment is here and now and the quality of life for all is lessened on down through the ages.
 
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goliathusdavid

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But then there are articles like this one, which makes factually incorrect claims about how a certain morph came into existence (a claim that is central to the argument the article makes about the benefits of captive breeding), and interviews a known frog smuggler as a source for how captive breeding saves wild populations (at the date of publication, this was openly known on the internet, and the guy is currently selling illegal animals on the open market). Really egregious mistakes.

I don't deny the facts (which I already stated). I deny the legitimacy of sloppy fact checking in publishing, the use of psychological manipulation (even -- no, especially -- when it is being used to support things I believe to be true, which is what is happening here) in argumentation, and agenda pushing masquerading as journalism.
Clearly I did not fully grasp the extent of misinformation in this article. Those ARE egregious mistakes, and I apologize for not being aware of them before posting. Nevertheless I think there is enough factual material to justify this discussion, which should be had. Exotics keepers need to be talking about both the larger effects of the wildlife trade we participate in, and also the welfare of the animals in the trade. Even a deeply flawed article can be a starting point for that discussion. Thank you for your factchecking.
 

goliathusdavid

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Exotic animal trade. Restrictions and regulations. A little tiny bandage on a symptom. Dealing with a small detail while the big picture goes ignored.

The planet and all life on it is ours to despoil, consume and destroy. Our toy or a way to make a profit. The end goal for those who run the shows is the accumulation of vast amounts of wealth and luxuries at the expense of the planet.


I hiked up a mountain accompanied by an elderly man. Topping the ridge he took out an old photograph of the vast valley of rainforest we were looking down on. He pointed out where the village was where he was born. Where the river ran through they brought water from. Where the monkey families moved through eating the fruit in the trees they lived in. Where he had encountered a great cat that had come down to the river for a drink.
The entire valley we were looking into, about 2 miles across, was just a hole in the ground. A huge quarry. No river, not a single tree. The only living things were the people operating the machinery cutting and hauling out the rock.


Until we teach, learn and live responsibility, it's all about little bandages on tiny problems. The earth and what lives on it belongs to each and every one of us equally. Take more than your fair share you are stealing from others. Everyone has the right to walk unspoiled wilderness as the animals have the right to a habitat that nurtures and shelters them.
Time to rethink our place in the world and what we are giving future generations. Greed and glut at the expense of our environment is here and now and the quality of life for all is lessened on down through the ages.
Yes...but. Until we see such a total ideological and societal shift, a bandage is better than nothing at all. A total reformation of human society would be great. For both humanity and the environment. Your last paragraph sounds great. But until then, a dramatic restructuring of regulation to reform the wildlife trade is something. Something arguably achievable. And some positive change is better than none at all.
 

The Snark

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@goliathusdavid Of course. It's all about individual effort, setting the examples, leading the way, and demanding of our leaders a more responsible, ethical role for people on the planet.

"Do not be so proud of this technological terror you've constructed. The ability to destroy a planet is insignificant next to the power of the force."

There are plenty of reminders for all to see. Virtually everything for sale in the big box stores was manufactured by people slaved to machines. Nearly every food item at a conveniece store is little better than a mitigated poison. Is this the world we really wanted?
 
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