Trump administration reversing promise to ban elephant hunt trophies into US

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The Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) announced that it will now consider permits for elephant hunt trophies from African nations on a “case by case basis” – reversing President Trump’s earlier promises to maintain a ban on the practice.

On Thursday, the FWS issued a memorandum stating it is withdrawing the 2017 Endangered Species Act (ESA) findings for trophies of elephants from Zimbabwe and Zambia, “effective immediately.”

“The findings are no longer effective for making individual permit determinations for imports of sport-hunted African elephant trophies.”

Each case, either to grant or deny permits to import sport hunted animals, will be on a “case-by-case-basis.” The department stated it will consider all information first prior to issuing permits relating to risk assessments of species vulnerability. The service also announced it will withdraw a number of ESA findings dating back to 1995 relating to African elephant trophies, bontebok and lions from African nations.

The decision to withdraw the FWS findings followed a court decision in December from an Obama era ruling  that banned the importing of elephant hunting trophies from Zimbabwe. The D.C. Circuit Court ruled the Obama administration did not follow the correct procedures banning elephant trophy hunting. Following that ruling, however President Trump had decided to turn the order around stating:

“I didn’t want elephants killed and stuffed and have the tusks brought back into this country, and people can talk all they want about preservation and all of the things that they’re saying where money goes towards, well, money was going in that case, going to a government which was probably taking the money.OK?”

Despite what President Trump said, apparently he has changed his mind. An “International Wildlife Conservation Council” has now been established “to advise the Secretary of the Interior on the benefits that international recreational hunting has on foreign wildlife and habitat conservation.”

Hunters had criticized Trump’s decision to delay ending the ban and placed the blame on “hysterical anti-hunters and news media outlets. According to The Hill, wealthy hunters from the Safari Club launched into overdrive contending how much they appreciated Zimbabwe’s elephant protection program paving the way for rich hunters to kill elephants. Americans, the largest population of hunters, pay up to $20,000 for each permit.

It is interesting to note, however that the Interior Department Secretary Ryan Zinke is an avid hunter and trophy collector. There has been no legitimate proof supporting the claims that killing elephants is good for the species. One has to really wonder how much these trophy hunters will make on the profit selling the ivory tusks of the elephants they kill? The Humane Society of the United States contends many problems still remain with Zimbabwe’s elephant management plan, including corruption, lack of government support and poaching.

“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,” wroteWayne Pacelle, former organization’s president and CEO stated in November, 2017.

Poaching elephants in Zimbabwe has resulted in a decrease in the elephant population. This is also the country where Cecil the Lion was illegally tracked, pierced with an arrow, suffered and then killed by an American hunter.

(Photo by Daniel McBride)

Read previous coverage on this report.

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13 replies
  1. Barkley's Mom says:

    Well we all know Trump’s sons are “trophy” hunters, so of course he is going to lift the ban! Is anyone really surprised? I’m sure we will be seeing a petition soon, I will be signing it and contacting my “useless” Republican representative Tom Reed!

  2. maxiemom says:

    Only someone who’s really delusional would believe anything out of that lying SOS’s mouth in the first place. Anyone who fell for his BS on this would REALLY be brainwashed. He has 2 endangered species murdering sons, Beavis and Butthead, and a Secretary of the Interior who also loves killing animals and denies global warming. Who the hell would take him seriously when it comes to banning anything preserving animals or the environment? He hates animals and doesn’t give a damn about the environment, as he’s proving every single day with each and every reversal. He’s proving to be every bit as bad as I knew he’d be.

  3. Nancy Raymond says:

    Why in the world would anyone believe one word out of Trump’s forked tongue mouth? He says one thing, backs off, changes his mind, can’t be depended on for one decision – this douchebag we have as a president could not lead a trip to the bathroom – he could care less about the fate of ANY animal – his ONLY priority is to build that stupid wall – I hope his two dirtbag sons (aka Beavis & Butthead) both have hunting accidents – they deserve some of what they give.

  4. Marni says:

    What do we do to stop this? We make our voices heard. Start by signing these petitions, then voice your outrage on the white house comments page. then call, email or write your representative and speak out against this inhumanity
    Please sign all the petitions on this page against trophy hunting

  5. eleanor blue thunder higginbotham says:

    president trump, you are the commander in chief, the highest and most respected word in the country, the world. please do not promote bad things to beautiful living creatures

    • Barkley's Mom says:

      Of course they do, dogs are better judges of character than people are, mine growl at the TV when he comes on I pet their heads and tell them they are “good dogs”!

  6. Bev Woodburn says:

    Get rid of vile and evil Trump and his cronies. They are causing the deliberate and unimaginable deaths of the precious and innocent Wildlife. Trump and his cronies are the vilest of Wildlife animal killing Worldwide and must be eradicated from our planet. While this monster and his cronies are in power in the USA these animal murdering monsters will continue allowing the body parts of the precious and beautiful Wildlife to enter the USA. Why doesn’t the people of the USA wake up to themselves and get rid of this filthy Trump and his cronies from our planet earth. No defenceless and innocent Wildlife or any innocent animal will be safe while this monster Trump and his cronies are in power. They are destroying everything that the American people have fought so hard for. Get rid of Trump to save America. .


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