Permits to Import Elephant Trophies Issued Despite Ban!
When U.S. Secretary of Interior Ryan Zinke, a trophy hunter appointed by President Trump, moved to end a U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service ban on importing elephant trophies from Zimbabwe, the resulting public outrage forced at least a temporary delay ordered by President Trump. Now, despite all the alerts dedicated people like you signed of ours and other groups, a Freedom of Information Act request (FOIA) by Friends of Animals and Zimbabwe Conservation Task Force has uncovered sixteen permits that were granted by U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to import trophies from Zimbabwe despite the ban still being in effect! This is outrageous!
The background is as follows. The Zimbabwe import ban was enacted by the Obama Administration after it was found that the African country did not have a conservation plan showing how trophy hunting benefitted conservation of the elephants there. This "kill-elephants-to-save-them" claim runs throughout trophy hunting culture despite research to the contrary. USFWS moved to end the ban just as Zimbabwe dictator Mugabe was overthrown in a coup which created government chaos and even more doubt that the annual killing of 500 elephants would accomplish anything more than killing elephants and encouraging the legal and illegal trade in elephant body parts.
USFWS claims the import permits were for elephants killed before the Obama ban went into effect, while Friends of Animals and Zimbabwe Conservation Task Force have filed a second FOIA to determine the truth of the claim by seeking records of the exact dates, places and persons doing the killing to determine if the ban was violated at the time. For more information, click here.