THOUSANDS OF OTTERS KILLED EACH YEAR IN AMERICA AND CANADA
IOSF has been campaigning against the fur trade in South-East Asia and working to provide an otter-friendly alternative to hunting. Most hunters there are poor fishermen who are trying to earn a living.
But this is not the case in America and Canada, where a minimum of 40,000 otters are killed EACH YEAR and largely for "sport". IOSF cannot stand by and accept these double standards.
It is claimed that the trapping of otters in America and Canada is sustainable but is this really the case? IOSF has carried out some research and found that the figures are quite alarming. These figures are taken from official government department records for both USA and Canada and are only for river otters.
OUR FIGURES ARE GIVEN BELOW BUT HERE ARE SOME COMMENTS
American and Canadian furs are traded at big auction houses in America and Canada and the strongest markets are in China and South Korea. Manufacturing centres exist in central and NE China and South Korea. Buyers come from Beijing, Hong Kong, Japan, Germany, Italy, Greece, New York, Turkey, Toronto and the UK.
If the average figures are extended to the remaining states it gives a total per year of 28,462 for USA and 10,976 for Canada.
THIS GIVES A TOTAL OF 39,438 OTTERS PER YEAR BUT THIS DOES NOT TAKE INTO ACCOUNT ANIMALS WHICH HAVE NOT BEEN REGISTERED OR THOSE WHICH ARE CAUGHT INCIDENTALLY WHEN TRAPPING FOR BEAVERS.
One argument given to support trapping is that it helps conservation. In the Arizona Hunting Regulations it says: “the North American Model of Wildlife Conservation is the world’s most successful… Hunting and angling are the cornerstones of the North American Model of Wildlife Conservation… Through a 10-12% excise tax on hunting, angling, and shooting sports equipment, hunters and anglers have generated more than $10 billion towards wildlife conservation since 1937…”
This sounds impressive but if we actually look at the figures, $10 billion over 70 years works out at $142,850 per year!!!
So is otter trapping sustainable?
If we look at the figures, 10 states in USA and 2 states in Canada have no limit on the numbers trapped. In some of the states there simply is no up-to-date information on population status. If you look at Alaska the figures are from 1994 and we were told by Nevada that “If you are looking for some research opportunities, Otters in Nevada is past its due date for needed research.”!!
So if we do not have reliable information on how many otters there are or how many are being killed then we cannot say it is sustainable.
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