The Trump administration has received backlash from animal rights campaigners after they lifted a ban on importing elephant hunt trophies from Zimbabwe and Zambia.
The American government will allow the remains of endangered elephants legally hunted in the African countries to be brought into the States – reversing a ban introduced by former president Barack Obama.
The Obama administration prohibited the imports of ‘trophies’ from Zimbabwe in 2014, saying that the nation’s management of legal hunting did not ‘enhance the survival of the African elephant in the wild’.
Now politicians have scrapped regulations arguing that hunting could ‘help conservation efforts’.
The Elephant Project conservation group branded the move as ‘reprehensible behavior by the Trump administration’, saying: “100 elephants a day are already killed. This will lead to more poaching.”
The decision to lift the ban has been described as ‘jarring’ by the chief executive of animal protection organization Humane Society of the United States, Wayne Pacelle.
Pacelle explained: “Let’s be clear: elephants are on the list of threatened species; the global community has rallied to stem the ivory trade; and now, the US government is giving American trophy hunters the green light to kill them.
“It’s time for the era of the trophy killing of Africa’s most majestic and endangered animals to come to a final close, and the United States should not be retreating from that commitment.”
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