Africa’s elephant population has suffered its worst drop in 25 years, according to the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), blaming the plummeting numbers on poaching. Elephants are listed as endangered. USA President Donald Trump has reversed an Obama-era ban on hunters importing trophies of elephants killed in Zambia and Zimbabwe during government-approved big-game expeditions.
The hunters group Safari Club International must have been thrilled at Trumps news. In 2014 the group filed a law suit to block the ban imposed by the Obama administration. It all comes back to money and greed. Hunters say that hunting benefits conservation for the species, however I personally do ‘not’ agree with that line of argument.
According to the ABC, hunters typically pay hefty fees to local government agencies for permission to pursue the animals. The official told ABC that they have new information from Zimbabwe and Zambia to support reversing the ban to allow trophy hunting permits.
In 2014, the United States banned the import of sport-hunted elephant trophies from Zimbabwe, citing a lack of transparency in the use of conservation funds generated by their export. “We are now able to find that African elephant trophy hunting in Zimbabwe will enhance the survival of the species in the wild,” said the US Fish and Wildlife Service spokesperson.
Pay To Slay
“It’s a venal and nefarious pay-to-slay arrangement that Zimbabwe has set up with the trophy hunting industry,” said Wayne Pacelle, president and chief executive of the Humane Society.
“What kind of message does it send to say to the world that poor Africans who are struggling to survive cannot 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?” said USA Today.
The Elephant Project, which tries to protect the pachyderms called the suspension of the ban “reprehensible” in a Tweet.
When President Trumps two sons received backlash after posting their hunting photographs, they released a joint statement: “We have the utmost respect for nature and have always hunted in accordance with local laws and regulations. In addition, all meat was donated to local villagers who were incredibly grateful. We love traveling and being in the woods – at the end of the day, we are outdoorsmen at heart.”
African Wildlife Foundation’s Chief Operating Officer, Jeff Chrisfield, said: “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.”
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