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RE: Wearing and eating monitor lizards

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Posted by: RobKnox at Mon Feb 27 17:56:51 2012  [ Report Abuse ] [ Email Message ] [ Show All Posts by RobKnox ]  
   

I agree that this was a poorly asked question and as an academic myself I am surprised at how you worded it. That being said my guess is you were pushing more at "If the survival rate of captives is so low(for this discussion lets give it a theoretical 99% deathrate), how is that any better than exporting them for food and skins?"

Well as has been pointed out the bigger issue with the endangerment of these species is the destruction of their natural habitat. In a perfect world where their habitats were perfectly protected from further degradation and the damage that had been done was not irreparable yes a 99% death rate in the pet trade would roughly equate to the 100% death rate of foods and skin trade. However this is the real world and no matter how many lists we put these species on many of them will eventually become extinct and therefore that 1% matters and there is a difference, because that 1% can establish a captive population which is preferable on all counts to complete extinction.

Now does that mean its OK that the death rate is 99%? No. There should be changes to how these animals are exported and who they go to when they are. For the purpose of this discussion however, my opinions on policy are irrelevant.

Now if I am wrong about what you were getting at then I would go on to say I agree with a lot of what Frank and Mike said, you can do absolutely nothing about natives consuming these animals. It has been part of their culture for a long time and until the "modern" world kicked in and started doing its thing, these native populations were at a natural equilibrium with these animals evidenced by the fact they are not already extinct.

So my opinion is no the pet trade is not much better than the food and skin trade, but it is a little better. We should rather be focusing on how to improve the pet trade and lower that expected death rate, not try and abolish it altogether by claiming its no better than some other morally ambiguous trade.


   

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