A U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service official has confirmed to ABC News that the Trump administration has made plans to allow hunters to import trophies of elephants they killed in Zimbabwe and Zambia back to the United States, reversing a ban put in place by the Obama administration in 2014. Although the government has not announced this policy change yet, it was reportedly announced at a wildlife forum in South Africa this week.
From ABC News:
“Even though elephants are listed as endangered under the Endangered Species Act, a provision in the act allows the government to give permits to import these trophies if there is evidence that the hunting actually benefits conservation for that species. The official said they have new information from officials in Zimbabwe and Zambia to support reversing the ban to allow trophy hunting permits.”
Safari Club International has filed a lawsuit to block the 2014 ban. The Federal Register is expected to post a notice regarding this change on Friday with more specifics and new information that allegedly justifies the changes.
“Elephants are in danger of extinction in the wild, this ruling by President Trump will make their situation worse” said David Barritt, NFA’s campaign director. “The hunting industry is a disgrace that shames every government that permits it. Wholesale cruelty is dressed up as something macho men do. How slaughtering noble animals with high powered rifles is manly, escapes me. I can’t imagine why people would do it, let alone why they would want the animal’s head as a reminder.”