I watched this earlier this evening and wept.
"African herders whose livestock and livelihood are threatened by lions are killing them in the most effective and economical way they can. And overwhelmingly, that is by using a cheap American chemical called Furadan. It is marketed as a pesticide, to be used for protecting crops. But it's bought by many to kill animals. And that’s one reason why, conservationists say, Africa's lions are in trouble."
When a lion kills a cow, farmers sprinkle an insecticide called Furadan on the carcas prior to the lions eating it. Furadan, a substance banned in the UK and greatly regulated here in the States, although the EPA is working to get it banned, is cheap and easy to get on the open market in Africa. It is odorless and tasteless and virtually shuts down the nervous system, causing a slow, painful, horrific death.
Lion population has declined upwards of 85% over the past 20 years in Africa for a variety of reasons (mostly if not all due to the actions of humankind). It's on the verge of becoming extinct. It's an atrocity what is happening in Africa, and yet there is always an underlying issue at play that must be considered. When you are a farmer whose livelihood of self and family depends upon "x" crop and that crop is being threatened by outside forces (animals, disease, people...) it's easy to resort to desperate measures to keep that cash flow coming in. Thankfully there are conservation groups who are working with these farmers by reimbursing them financially for any loss of their crop, or in this case, cows. In order to recoop the loss, farmers must allow the conservationists to inspect the cows carcass to ensure no Furadan is present.
Stories like this make me think yet again how (ridiculously) damn important the System creators have made money. When people are willing to kill to survive, to keep from losing an income, you know our species hasn't evolved much beyond the period from when we were dragging our knuckles on the ground. While understandable from a perspective of human survival, we can be doing things differently to ensure such things like this do not have to happen. The idea of these conservationists is simple and brilliant. While it doesn't remove money from the equation (ah but I can dream), it solves the issue plaguing the farmers and the lions. I applaud them for their efforts.