18 November 2017
Trump suspends imports of elephant trophies from Zimbabwe & Zambia pending review. A step towards sanity?
Apparently responding to widespread criticism, the President of the United States, Donald Trump, has suspended a decision taken only days ago to allow imports of elephant and other trophies from Zambia and Zimbabwe into the USA, activities banned under the previous administration, pending a review.
The move had generated widespread national and international criticism with concerns focussed on a range of issues including: the fact that the President’s eldest son , a trophy hunter, had shot an elephant for fun in Zambia but had, apparently, been prevented from bringing home to the trophy; that overturning the ban would send the wrong signal to Zimbabwe, currently in political turmoil; that stimulating trophy hunting in these two countries would put their already beleaguered elephant populations under yet more pressure; and that trophy hunting can have a devastating and traumatic impact on individual elephants and their families.
However, temporarily suspending the import ban is just that, a temporary measure that buys a little breathing space. The US administration will doubtless be under immense pressure from pro-hunting lobbies, for whom trophy hunting is big business, to reinstate imports.
This situation is not over and Born Free will maintain its strong position that the import ban should remain in place and be made permanent. Born Free also seeks a review of trophy imports of all CITES-listed species into the EU, the second biggest trophy market in the world after the United States.