Norman Baker gets musical to highlight dangers of animal extinction

Norman Baker's Animal CountdownLewes MP Norman Baker has taken to music to warn us all of the dangers facing some animals we take for granted. Lions, tigers, elephants and rhinos are under threat. I spent 99p on it and it’s actually very good. You can find out how to download Norman Baker’s Animal Countdown here and the video, which I can’t embed, can be watched on You Tube here.

Norman wrote an article for Politics Home ahead of his Adjournment Debate last night in which he outlined what needed to be done:

I am pleased to say that Britain has taken a lead in trying to tackle this, and in February 2014 held an international conference, which I part-chaired as minister for crime prevention. The resulting London Declaration was agreed by 41 countries and was a big step forward. The follow-up meeting takes place in Botswana later this month.

The UK has a good record in intercepting shipments of illegally traded species. I visited the UK Border Force and was very impressed with their commitment and expertise. But the real solutions lie elsewhere.

First we in the West must reinforce the help we offer to those African countries – a clear majority – who actually want to halt the slaughter, not least because wild animal populations keep the natural balance and provide a good income from tourists. This means military help and money.

Second, we need to work with those countries, China in particular, where the demand for endangered species exists. It is good that China has recently announced a ban on ivory imports, but much more has to be done, not least weaning their population off quack cures like ground rhino horn, which in truth are no more use medically than human fingernails.

And good on Labour’s Chuka Umunna for drawing attention to Tuesday’s parliamentary debate in a way that people would notice:

I’m sure he was just drawing attention to the issue and not being in any way snide.

You can read the transcript of the debate here.

* Caron Lindsay is Editor of Liberal Democrat Voice and blogs at Caron's Musings

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