The State Testifies Against Itself
Dave Killion — March 25, 2013
This photo comes from an article concerning a seizure of ivory from some poachers in Kenya. I imagine that the authorities like to promote pictures like this because they think it demonstrates that the government is effective in catching and punishing poachers. But it doesn’t. I have seen variations on this photo for decades. Piles of horns, piles of tusks, piles of hides. So many, in fact, that I am always surprised when I see another. It is as if traditional conservationists and their government enablers don’t see that these images no longer suggest the state is winning its battle against poaching and smuggling, but rather, have become evidence of the continued failure and devastating consequences of command-and-control wildlife management. The time is long past to place these vulnerable creatures into the hands of entrepreneurs, under whose care they will flourish, as do dogs, cats, horses, and all other animals in which private property can be held.
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