Trump reinstates curbs on elephant trophy imports

Says he will take a call after reviewing all conservation facts

Updated - November 18, 2017 09:12 pm IST

Published - November 18, 2017 09:03 pm IST - Washington

A herd of elephants in Zimbabwe. (For purpose of illustration only)

A herd of elephants in Zimbabwe. (For purpose of illustration only)

United States President Donald Trump on Friday put on hold a decision taken by his administration earlier in the week to allow American hunters to bring body parts of elephants hunted in Zimbabwe and Zambia.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) had concluded that allowing the import of such material would help the cause of conservation, while overturning an Obama-era decision to ban them. American hunters can legally bring trophies of hunted elephants from South Africa and Namibia as of now.

“Put big game trophy decision on hold until such time as I review all conservation facts. Under study for years,” Mr. Trump posted on Twitter. Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke said in a statement later that he and the President “talked and both believe that conservation and healthy herds are critical”. “As a result, in a manner compliant with all applicable laws, rules, and regulations, the issuing of permits is being put on hold as the decision is being reviewed,” he said.

Imports of elephant parts from Zimbabwe and Zambia were banned after the Obama administration concluded that these countries were unable to establish that hunting was helping conservation of African elephants that are listed as a threatened species under the Endangered Species Act.

Licence fees the reason

Rich American hunters travel the world on expeditions.  The U.S. has argued that the large amounts paid in licence fees helped conservation efforts.

Explaining its decision to lift the ban, the FWS had said it has “determined that the hunting and management programmes for African elephants in Zimbabwe and Zambia will enhance the survival of the species in the wild”.


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