Saturday, November 17, 2007

Save the Tigers - and the Kiwi (yawn)

PS: Let me know if you want a T-shirt - only $45 nz including postage - all proceeds to "The Free Radical" magazine.

Yet another story this week in the BOP Times concerning the plight of endangered species - Tigers to be specific! - makes a change from the usual bleating on about the Kiwi I suppose.
I wrote this to the paper in reply.

What do Tigers and Kiwis have in common? - They’re both in danger of extinction! They’re also both protected species, it is illegal to own, kill, or profit from selling them dead, alive or in pieces, and this is the very reason they’re near extinction. They’re so rare, the value of the skins and various parts fetch a fortune on the black market - and to desperate/poor people, worth the risks of getting caught - (the same as anything that’s banned or overly regulated by the government.) THE BOP Times story says a miracle is needed to save the tiger population, but I say the answer is nowhere near as mystical, imaginary or government-funded as that - the answer lays in simple property rights! How do I know? Why am I so sure? 48 million SHEEP says it works that’s why!
There’s obviously a market for tiger parts, and there always will be. no matter what governments say or how much money they waste trying to stop it. Instead of ignoring this fact, why not embrace it. The tiger population will benefit, poachers will lose the monopoly and the market and consumers will be able to purchase at fair market value instead of the inflated price of illegal goods The more governments spend on protecting and catching poachers, the higher the cost of the animal on the black market! The higher the price is, the more worthy the risk, so more people consider taking the risk, as everybody has a price right! and the more desperate/poor you are, the less is that price! Attempting to save the tigers (and the kiwi) by making them protected species, and making it illegal to own, breed, cultivate or sell, either alive or in pieces is equivalent to standing in a bucket and trying to lift yourself up by the handle - an impossible, and ridiculous task, but governments are good at that aren’t they! If it moves, tax it. If it keeps moving, regulate it. And when it stops moving, subsidise it. Almost EVERYBODY wants to save the Kiwi (and maybe the tiger too), but NOBODY appears to want to acknowledge the facts, and really do what it takes to get the job done. I can see it now - MAF’s new slogan Save the Kiwi - sell it by the kilo! It’s never going to happen is it? - may as well brace ourselves now for a lifetime of bleating on about the poor endangered kiwi - oh, and the tiger of course


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