London, UK – 11 April 2011
Bob Parsons, CEO of internet domain-name registrar GoDaddy.com, last month spent a small fortune to slaughter an elephant in Zimbabwe: http://tiny.cc/2ovw9
“Zimbabwe is a country led by a regime well-known for its persecution of its citizens, including democracy activists, students, human rights defenders and LGBT people. Thousands of Zimbabweans have been jailed, tortured, maimed and killed. Less well known is the regime’s ruthless exploitation of its magnificent wildlife and its commercialisation of trophy hunting for sport,” said human rights and animal rights campaigner Peter Tatchell.
“Cruelty is barbarism, whether it is inflicted on humans or on other species. The campaigns for animal rights and human rights share the same fundamental aim: a world without suffering, based on compassion and care. In a gentle, kind world, there is no place for racism, misogyny, homophobia or the abuse of animals.
“Parson’s claims his motive was to deal with a problem elephant that was trampling villager’s sorghum fields. But there are humane ways to deal with such elephants. They can be relocated to areas away from villages and crops can be protected with electric fences. Bob Parson’s could afford to fund these alternative options. He chose to kill instead.
“In protest at Bob Parson’s killing expedition, I am taking steps to switch from GoDaddy.com. So, too, are my colleagues at People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA): http://tiny.cc/umyam
“The UK-based web design firm Sonet Digital Ltd has also dumped GoDaddy. I hope many others will do the same.
“I urge you to ask your friends, and the firms that you do business with, to cut their links with GoDaddy.com.
“Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe—whose bigoted, tyrannical regime has been defined by kidnappings, beatings, rapes and murders—has been called one of the ten worst dictators in the world by Parade magazine. His reign of terror against his own people has been condemned and international sanctions imposed. Yet Parsons tacitly supported this regime financially thought the hefty fees he paid for permits to kill wildlife. Parsons not only defended his kill, he posted a sickening graphic video of the bloody outcome online: http://tinyurl.com/4nck8st
“The Zimbabwean government's disregard for the human rights of its own citizens extends to the abuse of its rich treasure of wildlife. Instead of protecting these beautiful, majestic African animals, Mugabe's officials allow wealthy western hunters to maim and kill in exchange for permit fees.
“Elephants are highly social, intelligent animals who are capable of experiencing a range of emotions, including joy, anger, grief, and sympathy. They live in matriarchal herds, working together and comforting and protecting each other. Male offspring stay with their mothers for up to 15 years, and females for their entire lives. Killing an elephant can rip apart an elephant family. The fear, panic, and distress caused by the killing leaves the survivors emotionally scarred. Death screams can be heard by other elephants miles away.
“I hope that everyone who is outraged by the actions of Bob Parsons will terminate their links with GoDaddy.com. He doesn't deserve our business,” said Mr Tatchell.