It seemed the entire nation was in an uproar this November when Trump announced he wanted to reverse the Obama Administration’s ban on the import of animal remains from so-called “trophy hunts” from Zambia and Zimbabwe. The controversy really blew up when a number of celebrities spoke out against Trump’s decision and encouraged the public to do the same. This loud vocal unrest spurred Trump to take to social media and state that he now views trophy hunts as a “horror show” that does not aid in conservation in any way. The brash decision was then put on hold, which brought some temporary relief, but now there is even greater news — the Federal Court of Appeals has invalidated the decision to allow the import of animal parts from trophy hunts from Zambia and Zimbabwe!
Every fifteen minutes an African elephant is killed, be it by poachers or trophy hunters, causing populations to drop by a drastic 62 percent in just ten years! Scientists estimate that at this rate, the species could go extinct in the wild by the end of the next decade. The wildlife and ivory trades are incomprehensibly corrupt and fueled entirely by greed. This trade is ladened with extreme human rights violations in addition to breaking global laws and zapping our planet of its biodiversity. Allowing the import of animal parts would take away an obstacle for corrupt traders and only make it easier for them to conduct their illicit business.
Thankfully, the U.S. Court of Appeals is aware of the pressing issues at hand and has made the right decision to uphold the conservation mandate set in place by the Endangered Species Act. This decision, which was announced this December 22nd, invalidates Trump’s previous decision to allow imports from trophy hunts. The Court also stated that the Trump Administration must take public comment on any decisions regarding trophy imports based on individual countries’ management plans.
The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS), always an advocate for animals, fought against Trump’s decision. Anna Frostic, the managing attorney for wildlife litigation for HSUS, said this about the issue: “The federal government must carefully consider the science demonstrating that trophy hunting negatively impacts the conservation of imperiled species. We strongly urge the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to take immediate action to rescind its unlawful decisions to liberalize elephant and lion trophy imports.”
Remember to keep speaking up for endangered species and share this fantastic news with your network!
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