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Giraffes to be given greater protection against unregulated trade
Fewer than 100,000 giraffes are estimated to remain in the wild today.

CITES convention votes for move after staggering fall in giraffe numbers

Giraffes are to be given greater protection against unregulated trade after a vote by the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES).

The move comes in response to the fact that giraffe numbers have fallen by as much as 40 per cent over the past decade. Fewer than 100,000 giraffes are estimated to remain in the wild today owing to poaching, habitat loss for agriculture and human-wildlife conflict.

Giraffes are hunted for their bushmeat, but their body parts are also used for clothing, furniture, and speciality knives.

According to BBC News, the motion to regulate the trade in body parts came from Kenya, Chad, the Central African Republic, Senegal, Mali and Niger. Here there has been a significant fall in giraffe populations.

But South African countries opposed the move, stating there was not enough evidence to support the notion that international trade was contributing to the giraffe’s decline.

Under the new rules, permits will be mandatory and countries will be required to record the export.

Speaking at a news briefing, Tom De Meulenaer, Cites' scientific services chief said: "The giraffe is, in the wild, much rarer than African elephants, much rarer. We are talking about a few tens of thousands of giraffes, and about a few hundreds of thousands of African elephants. So we need to be careful.”

But Julian Fennessy from IUCN’s giraffe and okapi specialist group said the protection was “not going to save giraffe in the wild”. He argued that increased financial and political support was needed, as well as more resources on the ground.

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Pair of endangered Amur leopard cubs born at Colchester Zoo

News Story 1
 Keepers at Colchester Zoo are hailing the arrival of a pair of critically endangered Amur leopard cubs.

The cubs were born to first-time parents Esra and Crispin on the 9 September. This is the first time the Zoo has bred Amur leopard cubs on-site.

Amur leopards originate from the Russian Far East and north-east China. In the wild they are threatened by climate change, habitat loss, deforestation and the illegal wildlife trade.

The cubs are said to be “looking well” and are expected to emerge from their den in a few weeks.  

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RCVS names Professor John Innes as chair of Fellowship Board

Professor John Innes has been elected chair of the 2019 RCVS Fellowship Board, replacing Professor Nick Bacon who comes to the end of his three-year term.

Professor Innes will be responsible for making sure the Fellowship progresses towards fulfilling its strategic goals, determining its ongoing strategy and objectives, and reporting to the RCVS Advancement of the Professions Committee on developments within the Fellowship.