The Trump administration has lifted an import ban that will allow Americans to bring African lion and elephant body parts as hunting trophies back to the United States. Even though President Trump had called big game hunting a ‘horror show’ after keeping the ban in place in November 2017, it now seems that he has been spreading ‘Fake News’ himself.
The decision to lift the ban was announced quietly in a memorandum by the US Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) on March 1. This decision will allow hunters to apply for permits to import trophies which will be reviewed by the agency on a “case by case basis”. Controversial organizations such as Safari Club International and the National Rifle Association have been lobbying in favour of lifting the ban ever since it was instated.
This is not the first time that policies of the U.S. Department of the Interior (which oversees the FWS among many others) have become more hunter-friendly under President Trump. Some of the latest decisions include:
- The reversal of an order that had banned the use of lead ammunition and fishing tackle on national wildlife refuges.
- The expansion of hunting opportunities to ten national wildlife refuges.
- The increased access for hunters to public as well as private lands.
African wildlife is already in massive decline and so-called conservation activities such as trophy hunting are only worsening the situation. We ask Interior Secretary Zinke and FWS Deputy Director Sheehan to ban trophy hunting imports and focus on more responsible and sustainable wildlife conservation activities.
Please sign our email today!
Dear Secretary Zinke and Deputy Director Sheehan,
As iconic species listed under the protection of the Endangered Species Act, I urge the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) to ban the importation of African lion and elephant trophies into the United States.
African wildlife is in peril, and the continuing decline of lion and elephant populations warrant the need for more protection, not less. The FWS itself has acknowledged that poorly managed trophy hunting can undermine conservation efforts when the international laws, institutions, and capacity necessary to make trophy hunting benefit conservation are simply lacking. Instead, studies have shown the amount of money generated by big game hunting pales in comparison to the amount brought into countries through tourism and wildlife watching.
As a member of FOUR PAWS, I implore FWS to ban African lion and elephant trophy imports to the U.S., and support more responsible methods of resource management such as focusing on improving habitat conservation, preventing poaching, and reducing human-wildlife conflict for endangered and threatened species.