Trump reverses elephant trophy ban

Marie Harrington
November 17, 2017

These issues - big-game hunting and wildlife conservation in parts of Africa - are at the heart of "Trophy", a documentary that premiered this year to strong reviews.

The finding applies to elephants hunted in Zimbabwe on or after January 21, 2016, and on or before December 31, 2018, and elephants hunted in Zambia during 2016, 2017 and 2018, according to Fish and Wildlife spokesperson.

The group, which does not oppose all hunting, is considering bringing legal action to block the policy change, Pepper said.

The U.K. -based elephant-protection group Tusk Trust also drew attention to corruption in the system that allows permits for hunters.

The Trump administration has agreed to allow the remains of elephants killed in Zimbabwe and Zambia to be brought back to the USA, a reversal of an Obama-era ban.

The announcement was made, not by our government, but by Safari Club International.

Coincidentally, Zimbabwe happens to be the country where Donald Trump Jr. took that infamous photo of him holding up a dismembered elephant's tail.

Wayne Pacelle, president of the Human Society, called the permit system "a venal and nefarious pay-to-slay arrangement that Zimbabwe has set up with the trophy hunting industry" in a blog post, and noted conservationists' concerns over "lack of information about how money derived from trophy hunting by US hunters is distributed within Zimbabwe".

Under the Obama administration, the FWS decided in 2015 that importing elephant trophies from Zimbabwe would "not enhance the survival of the species".

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A blog post by Wayne Pacelle, the president and CEO of The Humane Society, criticized the decision, calling it "a venal and nefarious, pay-to-slay arrangement that Zimbabwe has set up with the trophy hunting industry".

Advocates for big-game hunting contend it can help preserve wildlife by generating income for poor countries that can promote conservation and improve the lives of impoverished people.

"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".

"What kind of message does it send that poor Africans who are struggling to survive can not 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?" he wrote.

The nonprofit group's report found a population drop of 6% in Zimbabwe alone.

The news came the same week Zimbabwe had a coup that left its president, Robert Mugabe, under house arrest.

In addition to poaching, elephants are also struggling with dwindling habitat.

A representative of the group, along with several other hunting activists, joined Zinke in his office on his first day as he signed one secretarial order aimed at expanding hunting and fishing on federal lands and another reversing an Obama-era policy that would have phased out the use of lead ammunition and tackle in national wildlife refuges by 2022.

According to the United Nations, as many as 100,000 African elephants were killed between 2010 and 2012.

Other reports by TheSundaySentinel

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