A two-week meeting in Bangkok, Thailand, last October brought some good news — and some bad news — to imperiled animals and plants across the globe.
The meeting was the 13th Conference of the Parties (COP 13) to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Fauna and Flora (CITES). CITES began in response to an international effort that traces back to 1963, came into effect in 1975, and now has over 150 countries as signatories.
In the latest chapter in a court battle spanning more than six years, the United States District Court for the Northern District of California upheld a 1998 California ballot initiative, Proposition 4, which was adopted to protect wildlife and companion animals from cruel traps and poisons.
In the U.S., rabbits are classic icons of childhood innocence and mischief. Whether it’s the wise-cracking, carrot-munching Bugs Bunny; the treat-delivering Easter Bunny; sweet Thumper from Bambi; the sleepy young rabbit in Goodnight Moon; or Beatrix Potter’s beloved Peter Rabbit and friends, rabbits have long occupied a cherished place in our collective consciousness.
But while we shower adoration on make-believe bunnies, we too often heap terrible abuses on actual ones. A disturbing number of industries — including apparel, cosmetics, wildlife control, and the pet trade — exploit countless rabbits each and every year.
Letter to the Editor
Law enforcement officers and prosecutors deserve praise for sentencing Kwan Su Yi for bear poaching ("Anchorage man sentenced in bear poaching case," March 2, 2005). Illegal killing of bears for the underground trade in their parts is a nationwide problem, which demands a strong national outcry.
Winter means many things to many people. Some count the days until the warm sun shines allowing them to unbundle their layers of protection against winter’s chill. Others embrace the frosty season and seek adventure on ski slopes or enjoy the crisp air on a long day hike. Many celebrate the season by attending, or throwing, festive holiday parties and eagerly make preparations and resolutions for the upcoming New Year.
API is pleased to bring our readers this Guest Commentary by Craig Brestrup, Ph.D., a Board Member and former Executive Director of TAOS (The Association of Sanctuaries).
The August issue of Communique, the official magazine of the American Zoo & Aquarium Association (AZA), featured an article entitled “What’s in a Name? Zoo vs. Sanctuary” by Michael Hutchins, Director of the AZA Department of Conservation and Science.
Across the country, there’s no shortage of worthy organizations working for good causes, striving to make life better for humans and other animals.
Are you planning (or even just dreaming about) your next vacation? Did you know that you can help animals while seeing the world? Ecotourism — a unique and conscientious form of travel — makes it possible for travelers to visit sites of astounding natural beauty and, at the same time, to support local communities, conserve wildlife, and protect the habitat upon which wild animals depend.