Big Game Hunting Quietly Supported by Trump Administration


Charles Prince of Wales, Princes Harry and William, and Sir David Attenborough at premier of “Our Planet” on Netflix

While Sir David Attenborough and Charles Prince of Wales just announced renewed efforts to move to heal the planet and save species; the Trump administration has quietly moved to allow big game hinting and to allow for import big game trophies, including elephant tusks and lion hides, according to the New York Times and others.

The decision was reported in a memorandum published by the United States Department of Interior Fish and Wildlife Service. This decision overturns an Obama-era ban on big game trophies, contradicts numerous public statements by President Trump, and violates the ethics of people like Sir Attenborough and Dr. Jane Goodall and others intent of saving animals from extinction.

Last November, agency officials moved to lift the ban on elephant trophies from Zimbabwe and Zambia. The new policy makes matters worse for the animals, offering even fewer protections.

What’s curious is that President Trump has publicly disagreed with hunting advocates and his own Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke on this issue.

Doesn’t It Matter Some are Endangered Species?

Majestic antelope with big horns are now potentially vulnerable

The Endangered Species Act stipulates that in order for such trophies of wild game to be approved, exporting countries must demonstrate that hunting enhances survival of a particular species in the wild — by reinvesting the money into conservation, for example, and by supporting local communities. Of course, in some of these countries corruption runs amuck and it’s well known money only goes to individuals, not conservation.

In December, however, the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit found that officials had implemented the Obama-era bans without following regulatory procedures, including a failure to open up the decision to public comment.

To accommodate that court decision, officials said the Fish and Wildlife Service will change how it evaluates imports for certain endangered species across Africa — not just elephant trophies from Zimbabwe and Zambia.

Officials defended the new policy saying not mean that all trophies will be automatically permitted. The Safari Club International applauds this move saying big game hunting supports conservation.

The decision was long sought by Safari Club International and the National Rifle Association.