Breaking! U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service Is Urged To Deny Eight Elephant “Trophy” Hunting Imports From Zimbabwe & Namibia By March 16th

Conservation and animal welfare groups urged the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service today to deny permits to hunters seeking to import elephant trophies into the United States from Zimbabwe and Namibia. The move comes before World Wildlife Day which is tomorrow.

Under a settlement with the Dallas Safari Club, the agency must decide on eight pending permit applications by mid-March following a multi-year permitting hiatus for elephant trophy imports into the country.

“With Africa’s elephants sliding toward extinction, the Biden administration shouldn’t give U.S. hunters the green light to import their heads, tusks, and other trophies,” said Tanya Sanerib, international legal director for the Center for Biological Diversity. “Obama started to curtail this practice, Trump was accused by trophy hunters of suspending it, and now Biden could finally end imports of the cruel trophies taken by killing these intelligent, imperiled animals.”

Today’s letter from the Center for Biological Diversity, Humane Society International, the Humane Society of the United States, and Humane Society Legislative Fund noted an overall 30% decline in African savanna elephant populations and recent assessment of the species as Endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature.

The letter urges the Service to deny all elephant trophy import permits because of elephant population declines; management, corruption, and other concerns in Zimbabwe and Namibia; and legal concerns with the trophy hunting trade under the Endangered Species Act.

“The compound threats of poaching, ivory trafficking, and habitat destruction make this a simple ‘just say no’ moment for the Fish and Wildlife Service,” stated Sarah Veatch, director of wildlife policy for Humane Society International. “It is impossible to imagine a policy more dangerous to elephants than one that drives demand for their parts by allowing these imports just to indulge trophy hunters seeking to hang a head on their wall. We count on our government to be a strong champion of the protection of elephants, not an enabler of pay-to-slay tourism that is driving them toward extinction.”

Trophy hunters sued the Service in December of 2019, alleging that the Trump administration was “illegally no longer processing elephant import permit applications for any country.” The Biden administration settled the lawsuit in September of 2021 and agreed to deadlines for either granting or denying pending permit applications.

The first deadline on March 16th requires the Service to decide on eight applications for elephant trophy imports from either Namibia or Zimbabwe. Under the Obama administration, the Service had previously found it lacked sufficient information to permit elephant trophy imports from Zimbabwe and Tanzania.

More on this topic

Popular stories

SeaWorld Promised To End Orca Breeding, But Will Continue Breeding Other Whales

Public outrage against captivity heavily-influenced SeaWorld’s decision to put an end to orca breeding. However, the park made no such vow to end the...

Signatures Needed To Tell The Natural Bridge Zoo To Send Asha The Abused Elephant To The Elephant Sanctuary In Tennessee

Photo from Natural Bridge Zoo Facebook  Asha the elephant has spent the last 31 years of her life alone at the Natural Bridge Zoo, forced...

Watch The Groundbreaking Film “Unlocking The Cage” Premiering On HBO Feb 20th

Trailblazing animal rights attorney Steven Wise and the Nonhuman Rights Project's (NhRP) ongoing plight to expand legal personhood to chimpanzees is the subject of...