You make every victory won by Friends of Animals possible. Because of your generosity, we’ve been able to effect great change for wild and domestic animals for 61 years (and counting). We cannot thank you enough. But today on #GivingTuesday, we need your help more than ever. Friends of Animals will be here as long as animals of the world need us. Your support enables us to be on the front lines, fighting and righting wrongs so that change is possible.
When you make a donation today, you’ll be helping us protect these animals and many more in 2019:
We’ve are adding giraffes to the species protected by our African Big 5 Trophies Act legislation, which has been introduced in New York and would ban the importation, possession, sale or transportation of the trophies of African leopards, lions, elephants, giraffes and black and white rhinos and their body parts throughout New York. They are all vulnerable, threatened or endangered species, and New York is the busiest port of entry for trophy hunted African wildlife.
Recently, giraffes have jumped from Least Concern to Vulnerable on two International Union for the Conservation of Nature categories——with just 68,293 mature individuals remaining in isolated, fragmented populations in Africa. Their plight is being called the silent extinction, yet trophy hunters are feeding the U.S. market for giraffe parts.
The commodification of elephants continues to plague the species both in Africa and Asia. Not only do the world’s elephants already face enormous threats to their survival from captivity, the ivory trade, habitat loss, conflict with humans, and trophy hunting, an increasing number are being killed for their skins.
With populations continuing to dwindle, Friends of Animals is moving to strengthen pachyderm protections and is petitioning the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to amend the Endangered Species Act to include greater restrictions on trade of elephant skins and other body parts. FoA’s petition calls on FWS to restrict the import and trade in all elephant parts, including skins and hides.
The U.S. is a major importer of elephant parts and products, exceeding other countries. In 2016, the U.S. imported 2,079 whole African elephant skins, up from 275 just two years ago.
Over the summer, the federal Bureau of Land Management quietly issued its Wild Horse Sale Policy to get around a Congressional ban on slaughter. The policy, which was released May 25 but wasn’t made public until July 20, allows buyers to purchase 24 horses at a time with no questions asked.
FoA has filed a lawsuit challenging this policy that removes many of the procedural safeguards put in place to prevent the sale of wild horses to individuals who seek to resell them to slaughter. In issuing this order for BLM to expedite the sale of wild horses to third parties by the truck load, Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke is putting in place his own version of a slaughter plan regardless of the views of Congress and the public.
To avoid scrutiny of its wild horse extinction scheme, BLM has also begun proposing 10-year wild horse management plans, which FoA is also litigating.
Mexican Gray Wolves
A federal judge ruled this year that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has to do more to protect Mexican gray wolves, delivering a much-needed victory to the endangered species that has been pushed to the brink by hunters and the ranching industry.
Friends of Animals, WildEarth Guardians, Western Environmental Law Center and New Mexico Wild had argued in their lawsuit that the FWS’ flawed 2015 Mexican wolf management ruling arbitrarily limited the population, banned the animals from suitable habitat and loosened provisions against killing them in the wild to appease the ranching industry.
The Mexican gray wolf deserves a fair shot at recovery. It’s FWS’ duty to conserve and recover the Mexican wolf, not to protect American livestock, hunting and trapping interests. Enough is enough. Restoring North American carnivores is vital to the health and restoration of our wildest places and ecosystems.
FoA recently filed a lawsuit against the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service challenging the agency’s April 2018 decision to rollback previous habitat conservation plans and mitigation methods established to protect the prairie dogs, which were declared an endangered species in 1973 after their population dropped to a few thousand.
To appease a relentless local drive for development, more than 7,000 prairie dogs could be removed or killed over a 10-year period under the new plan, plus an additional 15,000 independent of development, totaling more than a quarter of the entire population. Between 350-1,750 acres of their habitat would be lost as well.
Any progress that has been made to save Utah prairie dogs after decades of poisoning and other indiscriminate killing is lost with this plan. FoA will continue to fight to have science and the inherent value of animals considered by the federal government.
Can we count on your help us as we head into 2019? Wildlife and critical habitat protection will once again be at the core of our animal advocacy in the months ahead.
Please make a donation today and consider being a monthly donor—a way to make your gift stretch throughout the year. With your donation, you’ll also receive another year of Action Line — our quarterly magazine, which highlights our current work and offers our readers a fascinating look at diverse topics related to animals and the ways all of us can take action to help them. We don’t take your support for granted; we know that many groups are doing wonderful things to make the world a better place for humans and animals alike. Friends of Animals remains a leader because of you.