Tags: trump | elephant | hunt | trophies

Trump to Lift Elephant Hunt Trophies Ban

Trump to Lift Elephant Hunt Trophies Ban
An elephant in Lower Zambezi National Park, Zambia. (Andrey Gudkov/Dreamstime)

By    |   Thursday, 16 November 2017 09:11 AM

President Donald Trump will allow the import of elephant hunting trophies from Zambia and Zimbabwe.

The Trump administration announced on Wednesday its intention to lift a 2014 ban enforced under President Obama that made it illegal for hunters to bring their trophies of elephants killed in parts of Africa back into the U.S., Fox News reported.

Elephants have been listed as endangered under the U.S. Endangered Species Act (ESA) since 1978, with populations dropping by almost 50 percent by 1990, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) noted.

However, an official said the agency had received new information from officials in Zimbabwe and Zambia that reversing the ban could support conservation efforts in the areas, ABC News reported.

"Legal, well-regulated sport hunting as part of a sound management program can benefit the conservation of certain species by providing incentives to local communities to conserve the species and by putting much-needed revenue back into conservation," an FWS spokesperson said in a statement.

According to Safari Club International, a hunting advocacy group, the move was first announced at the African Wildlife Consultative Forum, where the FWS claimed to have made positive findings pertaining to elephants that had been legally hunted in Zimbabwe and Zambia between 2016 and 2018.

The report noted that hunters wanting to bring home their elephant trophies were required to obtain permits from FWS.

Safari Club International president, Paul Babaz said, "These positive findings for Zimbabwe and Zambia demonstrate that the Fish and Wildlife Service recognizes that hunting is beneficial to wildlife and that these range countries know how to manage their elephant populations."

The decision has drawn its fair share of critics.

"It's a venal and nefarious pay-to-slay arrangement that Zimbabwe has set up with the trophy hunting industry," said Wayne Pacelle, president and chief executive of The Humane Society of the United States, per The Washington Post.

"What kind of message does it send to say to the world that poor Africans who are struggling to survive cannot kill elephants in order to use or sell their parts to make a living, but that it's just fine for rich Americans to slay the beasts for their tusks to keep as trophies?"

The Elephant Project, an organization dedicated to addressing threats to elephant survival called the lift of the ban "reprehensible" in a Tweet.

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President Donald Trump will allow the import of elephant hunting trophies from Zambia and Zimbabwe.
trump, elephant, hunt, trophies
Thursday, 16 November 2017 09:11 AM
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