The Trump administration has quietly lifted a ban which prevented Americans from importing sport-hunted elephant body parts back into the U.S. This decision comes in direct contradiction with President Trump’s previous stance on the issue, where he supported the Obama-era trophy ban.
The latest change was announced quietly in a March 1 memorandum from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, which bypassed previous rulings on trophy hunting. Thus, the agency said that it would allow sport hunters to receive permits for trophy items on a “case-by-case basis”.
The memo, while not publicized by the agency, did not clarify the specific guidelines by which the permits would be judged nor did it specify the president’s role in the decision. Trump had publicly expressed his opposition several times to lift the ban on trophy imports.
In November 2017, after the Fish and Wildlife Service announced it would roll back the ban on the importation of sport-hunted elephant trophies from Zimbabwe and Zambia, Trump announced it would halt the repeal amid public uproar. The president claimed that it would take a lot of pressure for him to allow lifting the ban, even calling the notion of hunting elephants for sport a “horror show”.
Big-game trophy decision will be announced next week but will be very hard pressed to change my mind that this horror show in any way helps conservation of Elephants or any other animal.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 19, 2017
African elephants have been listed as a threatened species under the Endangered Species Act since 1979.
People within the Interior Department who are proponents of big-game hunting believe that the money received from elephant-hunting permits would increase the federal system’s budget. The memo cited the lawsuit brought by Safari Club International and the National Rifle Association, which claimed that the administration did not account for all the facts surrounding the potential regulation. More so, the agency said that the ban repeal is a result of several Endangered Species Act findings withdrawals dating back to 1995.
According to the memo, the findings “are no longer effective for making individual permit determinations for imports of those sport-hunted ESA-listed species”.
Image Source: Pixabay
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