UPDATE: Trump puts lift on hold

“Put big game trophy decision on hold until such time as I review all conservation facts. Under study for years. Will update soon with Secretary Zinke. Thank you!”

– President Trump via Twitter

Importing the heads of elephants killed in two African counties will now be legal.

Trophy hunters that have hunted elephants in Zimbabwe between January 21, 2016, and  December 31, 2018, as well as Zambia during 2016, 2017 and 2018 can now submit applications to bring the heads into the United States.

While elephants are covered in the Endangers Species Act, there is a provision that allows the importation of trophies if there is proof that the trophy hunting helps conservation.

That statement may seem like an oxymoron but, in some cases, allowing big game or trophy hunting can help the population of animals.

If done right, the hunter will contract out and pay the country or village a large sum of money, which goes into its economy and into conservation.

As explained in the documentary “Women Who Kill Lions” the hunters are only allowed to kill a specific animal. As Rebecca Francis explained, when she went on her giraffe hunt the animal was preselected since he was over his reproductive age, and was aggressive toward his pack. After the hunt, all of the meat went to feed the nearby village.

“Legal, well-regulated sport hunting as part of a sound management program can benefit the conservation of certain species by providing incentives to local communities to conserve the species and by putting much-needed revenue back into conservation,” a U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service spokesman said in a statement late Wednesday.

Many people are worried about the alterer motives that might be behind the lifting of the ban.

Not only are President Trump’s sons big game hunters and can be seen in pictures posing with elephant tails but Zimbabwe is a country in crisis right now.

“This jarring announcement comes on the same day that global news sources report that Mr. Mugabe, Zimbabwe’s aging dictator, is under house arrest following a military coup… highlights the absurdity and illegal nature of the FWS decision to find that Zimbabwe is capable of ensuring that elephant conservation and trophy hunting are properly managed,” wrote Wayne Pacelle, president of the Humane Society of the United States.

Supporters of the lift point to the fact that Americans were still hunting elephants before, the only difference is not they can apply to bring the heads back.

“By lifting the import ban on elephant trophies in Zimbabwe and Zambia the Trump Administration underscored, once again, the importance of sound scientific wildlife management and regulated hunting to the survival and enhancement of game species in this country and worldwide,” Chris Cox, executive director of the group’s Institute for Legislative Action, said in a statement.

What do you think? If lifting the ban encouraging hunting, and is that a bad thing?

 

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