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The Trump administration will allow Americans to bring tusks and other elephant body parts back to this country as trophies, in a pivot away from the support President Trump voiced last year for an Obama-era trophy ban.
The decision, announced quietly in a March 1 memorandum from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, withdrew previous rulings on trophy hunting and said the agency would allow sport hunters to receive permits for the trophy items on a “case-by-case basis.”
The move contrasts sharply with the position taken by Trump in November.
After the Fish and Wildlife Service announced a repeal of the ban on the importation of elephant-hunt trophies from Zimbabwe and Zambia, wide public outcry prompted Trump and Ryan Zinke, the secretary of the interior, which houses the wildlife agency, to put the repeal on hold until further review.
Trump later called elephant hunting a “horror show” and said that it would be very difficult for anyone to change his mind.
Proponents of big-game hunting and the current Interior Department leadership believe that money from permits to hunt elephants would aid in their conservation by putting more revenue in the system. The agency’s memo cites a long-running lawsuit against the ban filed by Safari Club International and the National Rifle Association’s lobbying arm.
“The Trump administration is trying to keep these crucial trophy import decisions behind closed doors, and that’s totally unacceptable,” Tanya Sanerib, international legal director at the Center for Biological Diversity, told the Associated Press. “Elephants aren’t meant to be trophies, they’re meant to roam free.”
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The president’s sons Donald Trump Jr. and Eric Trump are avid game hunters. A photograph of Trump Jr. holding a knife and a dead elephant’s tail after a hunt in Zimbabwe in 2011 has drawn wide attention in the past.
Under Zinke, who is also a hunter, the Interior Department’s policies have become noticeably more pro-hunting. According to the AP, the department took a step in June to potentially allow grizzly bears near Yellowstone National Park to be hunted. And the Fish and Wildlife Service has begun allowing African lions killed in Zimbabwe and Zambia to be imported, the AP reported.
The population of African elephants has shrunk from about 5 million a century ago to about 400,000, a drop precipitated in part by poaching and the demand for elephant ivory and by the loss of habitat, the AP reported.
Elephant hunting is not a sport that is widely accessible to American citizens. The safaris in Africa can cost more than $50,000 per person, the AP reported.
LIke there is no tommorow.
I still don't understand what's the endgame of those pulling the strings in US. Is this just short term thinking? Is this planning to be the ones to survive when shit breaks loose? Or is there a dark cult actually plotting the destruction of entire civilization?
>Tanya Sanerib, international legal director at the Center for Biological Diversity
May as well have quoted the janitor. Why would you go to an organization full of varying biology disciplines and not ask the actual researchers for an opinion? Is it because the opinion of the scientists didnt match up with the journalists slant on the issue?
>The population of African elephants has shrunk from about 5 million a century ago to about 400,000, a drop precipitated in part by poaching and the demand for elephant ivory and by the loss of habitat
What kind of weasly ass wording is this wapo? The ivory trade has been a drop in the bucket compared to the explosion of african populations and chinese colonialism seeking the elephants for boner pills and luck trinkets.
>legalize ivory trade, start up ivory farms
>farms raise specific livestock animals for ivory trade, in-nature animals left alone
>farms help introduce animals into wild to help restore populations depleted by poaching
>poachers get run out of business, no more black market thanks to legal market
>no more extinction
But nooo, ivory makes me sad :(
>What kind of weasly ass wording is this wapo?
Well, like it or not, it's called statistical fact.
They already have safaris they can leverage for revenue. We don't need to trust Zambia and Zimbabwe with support for ivory trade. These governments are some of the most corrupt on the world, it's difficult to believe they can be trusted to sustainably manage hunting of wild elephants.
That's certainly the calculation we made in the past. And I can't help but question Trump's motives when his policy is generally driven by a gut reaction against everything that happened under Obama and his appointments are made per an ideology to have lobbyists dismantle all regulatory framework.
>Well, like it or not, it's called statistical fact
Thats what makes it weasle wording. The largest issue by a wide margin with the decline of elephants has been the destruction of their habitat. Its the same trick when people talk about gun control and roll suicides into the gun death stats. Yeah the last century saw a 90% drop in elephants. But they are trying to take the cause of 80% and make it about the next 10%. The poaching had been a non issue until the chinese moved into africa a decade ago on business ventures. The conservation efforts funded by safari hunts has been resposible for the preservation and reversal of that downward trend.
>But muh corrupt african governments!
You got me there. The only reason the zambian lion (not a real species but those black manes make a gorgeous trophy) isnt extinct is because pissed off hunters would track and locate their marked prey, only to find some government official decided to give the poor bastard a lion to young to even have a mane. They would refuse to shoot it and find out the official already squirrelled away the money.
> The President's sons Donald Trump Jr. and Eric Trump
> permits granted on a case by case basis
Guess who the first two cases will be.
This isn't lobbying. This is President Daddy allowing his sons to skirt the law. Exactly like when the President's parents-in-law were bumped to the head of the line and given permanent US citizenship.
It's good to be the king.
Evolution works based on who is the most successful at breeding and stochastic events, it doesn’t have much to do with the intelligence of the individual unless that intelligence enhances their ability to fuck and produce offspring. Based off of that, Nicholas Tesla and Isaac Newton were genetic dead ends, but the dumbass who got three girls pregnant by the time he was old enough to vote is doing pretty well.
>trying to make it about the next 10%
Because that's the topic of the article. "The Chinese and Africans have already so mismanaged their ecology, what's a tusk here and there for our generous donors?" isn't a convincing line of argument.
There is room for controlled hunting, and that's still not illegal. But there's an additional question of incentives now that importing ivory from hunts may be legal. There's a question about how that will be sourced and managed. There is already immediate economic incentive from tourism to maintain ecology and we've been seeing small improvements in rehabilitating populations, there's no defensible reason in favor of conservation to now legalize ivory trade, especially not done in such a quiet manner when Trump himself previously came out against the public announcement a few months ago.
While a novel idea, it takes like 30 years before you start seeing a substantial ivory grow on african elephants. Why not just cut the ivory off of elephants in reserves now to discourage poachers like we did with rhinos?
>Proponents of big-game hunting and the current Interior Department leadership believe that money from permits to hunt elephants would aid in their conservation by putting more revenue in the system.
Sorta like how Japan likes to kill whales to do research on whale conservation, huh
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