U.S. Law Enforcement Urged To Investigate Trump Jr.’s Trophy Hunting Of An Endangered Mongolian Argali Sheep


The Center for Biological Diversity urged law enforcement officials in the United States to investigate whether Donald Trump Jr. can legally import an endangered argali sheep he killed in Mongolia last summer. According to news reports, the argali sheep was shot without a permit required under Mongolian law.

A letter was sent last week alerting the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Office of Law Enforcement to potential legal violations associated with this trophy hunt. It requests that the agency’s top law-enforcement officials ensure that any attempt to bring the animal’s horns, skin, or parts as a trophy into the United States does violate the Lacey Act, which prohibits the import of wildlife obtained in violation of another country’s laws.

“We urge you to ensure that the protections in place for argali, including from hunters and poachers, are enforced, and special access is not provided for wealthy, white hunters from the West, even if their father is the President of The United States, “the organization stated in the letter.

Only after Trump Jr. had departed Mongolia, on September 2, 2019, was a permit issued for the argali hunt. It is unclear whether the issuance of a permit after the hunt comports with Mongolian law.

“Don Jr.’s shooting of this rare animal was reprehensible, and Fish and Wildlife officials need to take a hard look at this disturbing hunt,” attorney Tanya Sanerib, the Center’s International Legal Director, said in a statement. “If Mongolian law was violated when the argali was killed, then U.S. officials must ensure the poor animal doesn’t end up in the U.S. as a Trump wall hanging. The steep decline of this species is a prime example of how trophy hunting chips away at populations of highly imperiled creatures, and why we need strong laws and their enforcement.”

Trump Jr. posted about his trip on Instagram, explaining that he was “back after living the Yurt Life where he covered many miles on horseback.” He did not mention, however, anything about the sheep he killed.

Argali populations plummeted from an estimated 50,000 in 1985 to just 18,000 in 2009.

Argali are the world’s largest sheep, with curling horns growing up to six feet in length. Long imperiled by overhunting, the sheep are protected as threatened under the U.S. Endangered Species Act. Between 2007 and 2018, U.S. trophy hunters imported 65 argali trophies from Mongolia. This should be illegal.

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