Britain’s Prince William has come under scrutiny from anti-hunting activists after posting an anti-poaching video with his father Prince Charles.
In the nearly 7 minute video, the pair speaks of the “grave threat” of poaching and illegal wildlife trade in ecologically sensitive places like Africa and Asia, where endangered species are being pushed to the brink of extinction. The video is part of London’s Conference on Illegal Wildlife Trade taking place this week.
“We would question whether anyone can be expected to take him seriously when up on stage talking about how to protect animals,” said Joe Duckworth, boss of the League Against Cruel Sports, in a statement quoted by The Mirror. “It makes no sense to be out shooting wild boar one week and hosting a conference on wildlife crime the next.”
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Duckworth is referring to a hunting trip in Spain the Duke of Cambridge took just one day prior to the video being posted.
Duckworth charged that Prince William’s actions – hunting – “show an absolute disregard for animals and wildlife.”
But hunters, a majority of whom harvest game ethically, do so much for conservation around the world. In the U.S. alone, nearly $200 million worth of federal excise taxes are raised each year by hunters buying licenses, duck stamps and hunting tags, according to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
These tax dollars go toward wildlife conservation and to protect habitat for animals to continue to thrive.
“My father and I hope you share our belief that it is shocking that future generations may know a world without these magnificent animals and the habitats upon which they depend,” Prince William said in the video.
Prince William has a history with wildlife conservation and since 2005 has served as the royal patron of Tusk, a wildlife conservation organization focusing on Africa, and he has worked with the World Wildlife Fund in 2013 to stop wildlife crime.
The League Against Cruel Sports said Prince William’s actions – hunting – “show an absolute disregard for animals and wildlife.”
The royal prince stressed the importance to keep places like Africa wild so that his son, Prince George, could have some of the same experiences he did as a child.
“This year, I have become even more devoted to protecting the resources of the earth for not only my son, but also the other children of his generation to enjoy,” Prince William said. “It is of course even more important for each child growing up in countries where these animals live. It is nothing less than immoral that they are losing their birth right to fuel the greed of international criminals.”