Government of Trinidad and Tobago
Trinidad and Tobago

This petition is about raising awareness and starting the discussion of an issue that is of vital importance for the future of Trinidad and Tobago’s wildlife. Prohibiting the commercial sale of wild-meat is NOT a ban or moratorium on all hunting. It would be the first step of a variety of ways, including shorter seasons and limited permits, to ensuring hunting can continue in a sustainable way. Our goal is for Trinidad and Tobago’s wildlife to be enjoyed by recreational hunters and wildlife enthusiasts alike.

Wild meat (e.g. agouti, tatoo, wild hog, lappe, deer) is valuable in Trinidad and Tobago. At present the cost of some species (e.g. wild hog) is over $100 per pound. These high prices provide an incentive for illegal hunters and commercial hunters to harvest as many of these animals as possible for sale. Such hunting is clearly for financial reward and not for recreation.

This commercialization of wildlife is a death knell to these animals, because as with any commodity, as the animals become scarcer the price of the meat goes up. This increase in price creates a greater incentive for commercial hunters to hunt these animals, and further reduces the size of the game population. This is what biologists call an extinction vortex. Eventually the animals involved in such commercial trade become extinct.

Such a scenario is not hypothetical, but has happened the world over with unrestrained hunting of commercially important wildlife. Classic examples include the Passenger-pigeon and Heath-hen in the United States. Closer to home, in Trinidad and Tobago, this scenario has already been played out with most of the seed-finches (e.g. the bullfinch which now costs between $4,000-$8,000), which are already so rare that they are virtually ecologically extinct.

One way to prevent our game mammals from descending further into this commercially-fuelled extinction vortex, is to remove the financial incentive to hunt them. Such an approach is not novel as such bans on the commercial trade in wild game have been in places like the US since the last century. Hence, we are calling for a ban on the commercial sale of wild-meat in Trinidad and Tobago.

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We, the undersigned, call on the Government of Trinidad and Tobago to place a permanent ban on the commercial sale of game animals.

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The Ban the Commercial Sale of Wild-meat petition to Government of Trinidad and Tobago was written by Trinidad and Tobago Action Group on Wildlife Hunting and is in the category Environment at GoPetition.