by Eugene Lapointe, president, IWMC World Conservation Trust
“Animal rights NGOs are currently exploiting the Covid-19 pandemic to close down animal farms and prohibit all trade in wildlife. I am on the frontline of that battle. From 1982 to 1990, I headed the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES). Today I speak as a founder and coordinator of the Sustainable Use Alliance, which seeks to represent the interests of countries, wildlife farmers, fisherfolk, traders, hunters, trappers and others who support the wise use of flora and fauna. So, here comes our beef.
I’ve been associated with CITES for around 45 years. In that time, I have witnessed a paradigm shift. Unlike when I was in charge, in the 21st century a CITES Conference of the Parties, or CoP, resembles a religious festival. The activists that attend in great numbers are immune to rational argument because they are on a mission to save nature from humanity. During debates, especially when they win the vote, activists stamp their feet, wave banners, clap and cheer, while sometimes dressed in animal costumes – synthetic, of course. They arrive at CITES CoPs with fixed agendas, secure in the knowledge that they have predetermined most of the outcomes.
How this transformation occurred takes some explaining, so let’s start at the beginning.”