Trump Admin Changes Mind Yet Again To Allow Elephant Trophy Imports Into The U.S. But Senator Henry Stern & Animal Advocates Are Not Having It; They Announce Plans To Prevent Possession Of Elephant “Trophies” In CA
California Senator Henry Stern and a coalition of national and statewide animal advocates announced plans this morning to take legislative action to prevent the possession of elephant “trophies” in the state.
This action comes in response to recent changes in federal policy made last week when, despite President Trump’s promises to uphold the ban on imported African elephant trophies, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced that they are now considering all permits on a “case-by-case” basis.
The policy change has prompted public outcry as it will undoubtedly incentivize trophy hunters and practices that will further diminish an already dwindling elephant population.
“California has the power to end trophy hunting of endangered species here, and through our market power, across the world. I intend to use that power this year to stop Trump’s deeply disappointing about-face,” remarked Senator Stern. “Unlike Washington D.C., in California, we recognize endangered animals as treasures to be protected, not trophies to be mounted.”
Senator Stern and the animal welfare coalition are considering a range of legislative options, including a statewide ban on possessing actual trophies or parts of trophies, with the overall goal to prevent the import of endangered species.
“It is appalling that overturning a ban vital in protecting declining elephant populations in Africa is even being considered on a “case by case basis,” stated Judie Mancuso, founder and president of Social Compassion in Legislation (SCIL), the animal advocacy group sponsoring the bill. “In fact, this appears like a disingenuous way to overturn the ban completely.”
SCIL’s director of legislative affairs, Nickolaus Sackett, who is working with Senator Stern to ensure that California does its part to protect endangered species, stated, “The fact is that there is no evidence that trophy hunting enhances the survival of elephants in Africa as required by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s own regulations. We need to save the lives of animals in Africa, not kill them falsely in the name of conservation.”
“African elephants have been under siege for decades. Targeted by ivory poachers and legal hunters, elephant numbers have dropped perilously low in most parts of the continent. According to the Great Elephant Census, the elephant population dropped by 30% from 2007 to 2014, a loss of 144,000 elephants. Across Zimbabwe, they fell by 6% with substantial declines recorded along the Zambezi River in Zambia. It’s time to take the “con” out of conservation,” said Katie Cleary, founder of World Animal News & the leading non-profit Peace 4 Animals, which just launched a billboard campaign across the United States with that very slogan.
The first two Peace 4 Animals and World Animal News “Trophy Hunters Put The ‘Con’ In Conservation” billboards were placed prominently near major airports in California and Chicago.
The animal welfare organization and its animal news network also recently launched a national contest to determine whether their next billboard will be in Texas, Michigan, Florida, New York, or Washington. Animal lovers can vote now through March 15th for their choice on @Peace_4Animals & @WorldAnimalNews Instagram under their announcement on February 27th.