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Letter: Don’t confuse poachers with sport hunters

Ada Fisher (Republican?) is, with all due respect — and probably good intentions — dead wrong concerning salvation of the African elephant. It’s bad enough that we get slammed from the Democrats; we expect that. But Republicans should educate themselves as to truth and reality. Contrary to what Fisher says, sport hunting and poaching should never be equated with each other. Sport hunting in Africa is tightly regulated. Safari companies work hand-in-hand with government anti-poaching enforcement. These officers are heavily armed and the use of deadly force is not rare. Anti-poaching forces are financed in large by money from sport hunters.

African safari companies annually confiscate thousands of poaching snares and traps, while assisting the government in numerous poaching arrests. Sport hunters’ dollars happen to be the only obstacle standing between Africa’s game animals and oblivion in many areas. Stop sport hunting — and the legal importation of trophies — and you stop this vital protection. Thousands of pounds of meat from one legally harvested old bull elephant can sustain an entire village of locals throughout a winter. News flash for emotionally saturated armchair hunting authorities like Dr. Fisher: Sport hunting doesn’t waste protein. Poached elephants rot after the ivory is chopped out.

Sadly, there seems to be something borderline sinister going on in Fisher’s case. Her phrase of wild animals “being felled by those with an arsenal of guns” without distinction of sport hunters versus poachers insinuates intense anti-gun and anti-hunting sentiments rolled into one? Maybe it’s time to question Fisher’s liberal presence — and position — within North Carolina’s conservative Republican Party. President Trump should lift the importation ban of African trophies immediately and disregard anti-hunting forces who possess the stability of a cobra in a mongoose den.

— Randy Biggerstaff

Kannapolis

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