President of the United States, Donald Trump, has reversed a decision made in November to retain the Obama-era ban on the import of Elephant trophy-hunting parts from countries such as Zimbabwe and Zambia.
The Trump administration will now allow elephant trophy-hunting body parts to enter the USA on a case-by-case basis.
United States Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) stated on a memo dated March 1, that it would allow the import of elephant remains as “trophies” in certain cases.
The Trump administration considered lifting the ban regarding elephant trophy-hunting, however decided to keep it in place after huge public outcry.
In a tweet back in November, Trump said; “Big-game trophy decision will be announced next week but will be very hard-pressed to change my mind that this horror show in any way helps conservation of elephants or any other animal.”
The FWS argues that lifting the ban would help fund conservation efforts in countries where elephants are hunted for trophies.
However, it is extremely unlikely that these funds would be allocated towards conservation, as governments in such regions are prone to corruption.
HSI International Trade Policy Specialist Masha Kalinina told VegNews: “There is strong research and data to suggest that elephant and lion trophy hunting in Zimbabwe and Zambia is a threat to these species,”
“Yet, it appears that political motivations are behind the FWS’s decision, rather than best available science.”
Trump’s sons are avid fans of trophy-hunting, and the FWS is overseen by Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke, who is also a keen hunter.