In a reversal of a ban put in place by Obama in 2014, the Trump administration will now allow hunters to import back to the U.S. trophies of elephants they’ve killed in Zimbabwe and Zambia.
According to 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.
The International Wildlife Conservation Council, which is a new wing of the Department of the Interior, wants to highlight the “economic benefits that result from U.S. citizens traveling to foreign nations to engage in hunting,” adding that “human populations” can benefit from having Americans visit the two African nations for hunting.
“By lifting the import ban on elephant trophies in Zimbabwe and Zambia, the Trump Administration underscored, once again, the importance of sound scientific wildlife management and regulated hunting to the survival and enhancement of game species in this country and worldwide” Chris Cox, executive director of the National Rifle Association’s Institute for Legislative Action, said in a statement on the NRA-ILA website.
“This is a significant step forward in having hunting receive the recognition it deserves as a tool of sound wildlife management, which had been all but buried in the previous administration.” the statement continued.
Trump’s sons, Eric Trump and Donald Trump Jr., are known fans of big game hunting and have posted photos of themselves with dead exotic animals on social media, drawing huge criticism.
— Andrew Weinstein (@Weinsteinlaw) November 16, 2017
According to census data cited by Newsweek, Zimbabwe’s elephant population has declined since 2001, with Zambia’s populations also declining in some regions. A 2015 poll showed that 86 percent of Americans are opposed to big-game hunting with 6 out of 10 saying that the practice should be illegal.
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