Animal “Protection” Groups Doing Little to Protect African Lions
September 2013, Volume 11-4

Washington, D.C. — Safari Club International Foundation (SCI Foundation) exposed the hypocrisy of four animal rights groups in a new recently released report. The report, “Keeping the Lion‘s Share” counters a “study” issued last month questioning the role of hunters in helping African communities, and calling for African lions to be listed by the U.S. government as an endangered species. The report points to figures that show the millions of dollars contributed by hunters to African communities dwarf the paltry expenditures by the animal rights groups in sub-Saharan Africa.

The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS), its affiliate Humane Society International (HSI), the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW), and Born Free USA collectively raised $151 million yet spent only about 1 penny of every dollar raised in Africa, according to their most recent annual tax returns. In fact, HSUS gave a paltry 0.03% of the money it raised in grants to sub-Saharan Africa. Further, much of the grant money from these groups doesn‘t appear to be directed toward lion conservation at all.

The animal rights groups raise a pretty penny by ginning up one complaint after another, stated
SCI Foundation President Joe Hosmer.  But they are hypocrites, plowing the money into bloated overhead rather than into science and the conservation of African wildlife.”

The report also details the less-than-stellar grades several of the animal rights groups draw from the charity watchdog American Institute of Philanthropy (AIP). AIP awards HSUS a ―D‖ grade, finding the group spends up to half its budget on overhead, and awards ―C-minus‖ and ―C‖ grades to IFAW and Born Free USA, respectively, for their wasteful spending practices.

Meanwhile, Alexander Songorwa, Tanzania‘s top wildlife official, wrote in The New York Times in
March praising the ―critical role‖ that hunters play in African communities. Hunting generated $75 million for his country‘s economy alone between 2008 and 2011, providing funds to sustain game reserves, support locally operated wildlife management, and build schools, roads, and hospitals. Revenues from hunting generate $200 million annually in remote rural areas of Africa.

“Hunting is a vital part of sustaining rural African communities, and the Safari Club International Foundation is very proud to have a number of charitable and scientific programs that directly help the communities,‖ concluded Conservation Committee Chairman Dr. Al Maki. ―HSUS, IFAW, Born Free USA, and HSI should stop sponsoring spurious studies to further an extreme animal rights agenda, and put their money where their mouth is.

Editors Note: Readers are also encouraged to read the editorial opinion “Conservation evangelism will not save elephants from everlasting poaching” that appeared in the Kenya Daily Nation.