Very disappointing news shared by the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust:
USA lifts ban on elephant trophy imports
In another twist in the trophy hunting debate, the US Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) has announced that it is withdrawing its ban on importing elephant trophies from Zimbabwe and Zambia with immediate effect. Instead, permits will now be granted to hunters on a ‘case-by-case basis’. A number of other decisions made previously under the Endangered Species Act (ESA) are also being overturned.
The ban on importing trophies from Zimbabwe and Zambia was put in place under the Obama Administration in 2014 as a measure to protect elephants, after evidence showed that hunts in these countries did not enhance conservation efforts. The current US Administration first tried to lift the ban in November 2017, but a subsequent global backlash forced President Trump to put the decision on hold, pending a further review.
Though USFWS remained tight-lipped on any formal decision, Trump indicated at the time that the ban would remain in place, calling trophy hunting a ‘horror show’ and the attempt to overturn the ban ‘terrible’.
Yet, just a few months later, here we are again, with the US Administration lifting the ban to allow imports, this time on a case-by-case basis – appointing itself as judge, jury and executioner to elephants.
This latest announcement comes as a disappointing u-turn and one that could lead to the killing of more innocent elephants by US hunters.