Trump is now allowing big-game hunters bring lion parts back to U.S.
Animal-welfare groups, already furious at news that the administration of President Donald Trump is planning to allow big-game hunters to bring elephant trophies back to the U.S., were facing a new outrage Friday.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) has published new guidelines that allow for the import of lion trophies from South Africa, Zambia and Tanzania. The guidelines, which can be viewed here, show that Mozambique, Namibia and Tanzania are also under review for approval.
The Obama administration placed a ban on the import of trophies of elephants killed in Zimbabwe and Zambia in 2014, in an effort to help protect an endangered species. Elephants have been listed as a “threatened” species since 1978. The African elephant is deemed “vulnerable” by the World Wildlife Fund, after its population was decimated by poaching for the international ivory trade.
Last year, the FWS under Obama introduced restrictions on the import of lion parts after listing the lion as a threatened species.
The African Wildlife Foundation immediately condemned the move and said the Trump administration is weakening the endangered species act and promoting trophy hunting, the very activity that conservationists have fought hard to rein in.
“We are seeing the entrance of Washington, D.C., cronyism into the international conservation effort. The U.S. gun lobby should no more have a say in wildlife conservation, than a conservation organization should have a say in the gun debate. I hope no respectable conservation organization lends its credibility to this farce.”
“Trophy hunting can only be an effective tool for conservation when associated decisions and financial flows are transparent. Unfortunately, this decision by the Trump administration has been anything but transparent, and reinforces AWF’s stated concerns about the proposed International Wildlife Conservation Council (IWCC) recently announced by U.S. Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke,” the AWF said in a statement.
The IWCC’s membership will be filled with hunters and the U.S. gun lobby and other stakeholders with a commercial interest in loosening restrictions on hunting, said the statement.
“We are seeing the entrance of Washington, D.C., cronyism into the international conservation effort,” said Jeff Chrisfield, AWF chief operating officer. “The U.S. gun lobby should no more have a say in wildlife conservation, than a conservation organization should have a say in the gun debate. I hope no respectable conservation organization lends its credibility to this farce.”
On Thursday, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals weighed in on the elephant trophy news with harsh criticism of the president.
“If President Trump allows baggage carousels to be filled with elephant feet and heads from corrupt Zimbabwe, he will have fashioned himself after its president, Robert Mugabe, who slaughters all in his path, rather than after Theodore Roosevelt, who, while a hunter of his times, would have been consumed with shame to shoot an elephant from a jeep, as today’s pathetic trophy hunters do,” said Delcianna Winders, vice president and deputy general counsel with the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals Foundation, according to a PETA statement.
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The AWF said the move could lead the U.S. to lose its leading role in the fight against illegal wildlife trafficking—and cede it to China, historically the biggest market for ivory and a leading destination for ivory ripped off elephants by poachers in Africa.
“With this decision by the USFWS, AWF expects that the United States may soon become the largest ivory demand market, and that China will replace the U.S. as the global leader in the fight against poaching for ivory,” said the AWF.
Twitter was in the main not happy with the news, with many users posting photos of Trump’s sons, Donald Jr. and Eric, on African big-game hunting tours. Donald Trump Jr. famously posed in one picture while holding up a severed elephant tail.
There was also concern about the current turmoil in Zimbabwe, where the army has seized control, putting longtime leader Robert Mugabe under house arrest.
Someone please, for the love of everything good on this earth, tell me how killing Elephants and making them trophies will MAGA. Please tell me. http://bit.ly/2zbNHes
— Ricky Davila 🇵🇷 (@TheRickyDavila) November 16, 2017
And then they came for the elephants, and I was like “Oh come onnn what the fuuuck?!” http://bit.ly/2myfsYG
— Rachel Dratch (@TheRealDratch) November 16, 2017
The fact that Trump has lifted President Obama’s ban on elephant trophies being imported into the country is a devastating blow to the survival of these beautiful animals. It’s savage and pointless. It breaks my heart. http://pic.twitter.com/iclfxN6TXr
— Ricky Gervais (@rickygervais) November 16, 2017
— eljuegodelaura (@eljuegodelaura0) November 17, 2017
via MarketWatch.com – Top Stories http://on.mktw.net/2w6i9Ah
November 17, 2017 at 10:24AM