Another step backwards from the American government that favors the interests of hunters in spite of ethics and animals. The animals killed in Africa by American hunters will now be allowed back in the US as a (vulgar) trophy. On March 1st, 2018, the US Fish and Wildlife Service let people know that the importation of hunting trophies from six African countries – South Africa, Bostwana, Namibia, Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe – to the American territory will now be possible. The hunters will receive authorizations on a case-by-case, sheltered from the public and wildlife protection associations eyes.
Elephants, antelopes and lions are the most affected by this measure
The US Fish and Wildlife Service allows now the importation of trophies of elephants, antelopes also known as blesboks as well as lions killed in Africa. The decision from this American governmental agency dedicated to the management and preservation of aquatic and wildlife, as well as natural habitats, cancels the anterior legislation established under Obama. The latter prohibited the importation of tusks and other parts of elephants hunted in Zimbabwe and Zambie.
The current political context in the USA, under the Trump Administration does not play in favor of animals. The US Fish and Wildlife Service is related to the Interior Department. It turns out that the Interior Secretary, Ryan Zinke, is himself a hunter which can explain the recent measures in favor of hunting.
Two influent lobbies, the NRA for arm possession in the US and the Safari Club International including worldwide hunters have also supported these decisions. They even pressed charges against the US Fish and Wildlife Service to report juridical failures in the implementation of Obama’s legislation on the prohibition of importing hunting trophies.
Hunt authorized in national parks
The hunt of protected wild animals can be exercised legally in some national African parks, under the condition of buying a permit. Ironically, the hunting advocates state that their acting would help the species conservation as colossal sums – from 50 000 to 100 000 dollars – are at stake for the obtention of a hunting permit for a lion or an elephant.
This money would be, officially, reinjected into the parks, to fight poaching and support local communities. In reality, it suffers from a bad management. For example, the hunted animals quotas are too high or the the sums of money are not “properly reinvested”.
Protecting the threatened species of Africa
There is no need to remind that no animal deserves to be hunted and transformed in a trophy for the pleasure of the “sport”. On the contrary, elephants and lions from Africa deserve to be protected and with means respectful to ethics and nature. These species and many other like them, are threatened with extinction, due to poaching and the decline of their natural habitats. Elphants and lions are on the red list of threatened species of UICN.