Trophy Hunters Are Gathering This Week In Nashville For Another Sickening Annual Safari Club International Convention

This week at Music City Center in Nashville, Tennessee, thousands of trophy hunters will be gathering at the Safari Club International (SCI) convention. The appalling event runs from February 22nd through February 25th and will feature over 850 exhibitors from more than 30 countries.

More than half of these exhibitors will be hunting guides and outfitters peddling sickening trophy hunts of the world’s most imperiled species like elephants and lions, whose populations are threatened with extinction.

Hunts for hundreds of additional foreign and domestic animals, including leopards, polar bears, rhinos, hippos, wolves, and grizzly bears, will also be sold and advertised during the event. Other vendors will be selling jewelry, trinkets, and decorations made from those and other iconic animals.

This year, the auctions are estimated to bring in almost $6,000,000 for SCI to fund their lobbying efforts that include reducing U.S. Endangered Species Act protections and promoting trophy hunting.

The Humane Society of the United States and Humane Society International analyzed all of the auction items at the upcoming 2023 convention, which included products for sale by exhibitors and sickening trophy hunting trips donated by outfitters from around the world. The analysis found that:

  • Approximately 350 trophy hunting trips are being auctioned off to kill as many as 870 mammals in the U.S. and abroad.

  • The threatened and endangered species being hunted are elephants, lions, rhinos, leopards, polar bears, hippos, wolves, grizzly bears, giraffes, and lynx.

  • Values for each hunting trip range from $2,500 for a California wild boar hunt to $143,000 for a 21-day lion, leopard, and plains game hunt in Zambia.

  • Other international hunts include a five-day New Zealand big game hunt valued at $120,000, a seven-day South Africa white rhino hunt valued at $100,000, and a 14-day Tanzania leopard, cape buffalo, and plains game hunt valued at $85,000.

  • There is also a 10-day Alaska Brown and Black Bear Hunt for one hunter with Alaska’s Governor Mike Dunleavy valued at $29,500.

  • Top destinations for the auctioned hunts include South Africa, Canada, Spain, Argentina, and New Zealand.

“It is unconscionable that the lives of these animals from around the globe are being sold and auctioned off to wealthy, elite hunters for sport. It’s a sobering reality that many of the species that trophy hunters pursue could disappear in our lifetime,” Jeffrey Flocken, President of Humane Society International, said in a statement. “Simply put, our natural world deserves better.”

The annual convention is one of SCI’s primary funding sources for their extensive lobbying activities to take away critical state and federal protections from imperiled wildlife and make it easier for hunters to import hunting trophies and expand hunting seasons. As the world’s largest importer of hunting trophies of mammals regulated under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES), the United States imported over 72,600 hunting “trophies” between 2014 and 2018. Ten thousand of those so-called “trophies” were from species listed as threatened or endangered under the U.S. Endangered Species Act.

“Trophies of any species listed as threatened or endangered under the U.S. Endangered Species Act should be prohibited from importation into the United States. Congress has been urging the agency to look into its trophy import program for years and this conference is simply another reminder that it is high time for the Biden Administration to take a hard look at blocking such trophies from coming into the United States,” stated Sara Amundson, President of the Humane Society Legislative Fund. “We simply cannot keep turning a blind eye to the loss of these iconic species simply so trophy hunters can continue to experience the thrill of displaying their unethical kills. The Fish and Wildlife Service should act now to quash this activity.”

Music City Center is choosing to put profit ahead of morality. We encourage you to share with all of your friends and family that Music City Center is actively supporting the murder of elephants, big cats, and other animals by hosting this conference. 

Please speak now and let Music City Center know how you feel about their support of indescribable animal cruelty by signing CompassionWorks International’s petition HERE!

You can help all animals and our planet by choosing compassion on your plate and in your glass. #GoVeg

You can help all animals and our planet by choosing compassion on your plate and in your glass. #GoVeg

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