By Brianna Sacks in the USA:
Trump Is Allowing Hunters To Import Elephant Trophies Back To The US
November 16, 2017, at 4:56 a.m
The Trump administration will again allow hunters to import the heads of elephants killed in two African countries back to the United States, reversing an Obama-era ban and furthering the administration’s efforts to promote hunting.
Although African elephants are listed as an endangered species, the US government will enable hunters to kill the animals and import their trophies if there is proof the sport helps conserve the species. After some review, the agency said it had determined “well-regulated sport hunting” would actually help preserve the species and funnel resources back into conservation efforts.
In 2014, the Obama administration curtailed elephant trophy imports as part of an initiative to protect elephants, whose populations were alarmingly declining, targeted for wildlife trafficking and ivory. As a result, officials in Zimbabwe and Zambia bolstered efforts to combat poaching and enact stricter systems to keep track of permits and quotas.
The Safari Club and the National Rifle Association, which challenged the ban in court, are celebrating the reversal and praising the Trump administration for recognizing the importance of “sound scientific wildlife management.” …
Americans pay thousands of dollars to embark on African hunting voyages to kill animals, a practice that garnered intense controversy and outrage after a Minnesota dentist killed Cecil the lion in 2015
However, it is a beloved sport for several members of the Trump administration, including the president’s son, who famously ditched secret service in September to go on a hunting trip in the Canadian wilderness and, in March, called the sport “a great way to see the world” in a New York Times interview. Photos of him holding an elephant’s tail he had just severed outraged animal rights groups. …
Now, hunters who killed elephants between Jan. 21, 2016, and Dec. 31, 2018, can apply to bring their trophies back to the US, a move that animal right’s groups say emboldens trophy hunters and disregards a threatened species.
“Let’s be clear: elephants are on the list of threatened species; the global community has rallied to stem the ivory trade; and now, the U.S. government is giving American trophy hunters the green light to kill them,” Wayne Pacelle, president of the Humane Society, wrote in a blog post vilifying the decision.