Victory for giraffe lovers and animals welfare activists
Giraffes have sadly joined the too numerous groups of endangered animals. Perhaps even more concerning is the fact that up until recently this unique mammal and tallest terrestrial animal remained unprotected. After the species’ population has experienced a rapid decline of about 40% and gone instinct in seven countries over the last three decades, experts have tried to raise awareness and translate urgency for giraffe welfare.
At last, this crucial need has been heard as the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) has voted in favour of regulating giraffe commerce on an international scale. Following this long necessary decision, giraffe by-products such as horns, hooves, skin and bones are considered a direct threat to the survival of the species. Consequently, conservation efforts subject traders of such products to the acquisition of a permit which will only be granted in the event that business does not infringe the survival of the species.
The CITES is an organization that unites more than 180 countries and meets every two or three years. It has the authority to establish international commerce regulations for more than 35,000 animals and flora species. The member’s definite agreement pertaining to the largest ruminant has been long-awaited and more than crucial. According to the International Union for Conservation of Nature, the giraffe world population is down to an alarmingly low number of fewer than 100,000. In certain regions of Africa affected by poverty, political conflicts and where poaching is an active problem, the giraffe population has decreased by a scary 85%.
In the event that the new regulations were to be violated, the CITES would be in a position to impose sanctions on countries at fault.
Along with the efforts to stop the decline of the giraffe population, the CITES has also voted in favour of commerce regulations for 18 species of rays and sharks—including mako sharks—as well as three sea cucumbers.