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Title Title
Trump lifts ban, allows importing of elephant-hunting trophies from two countries Trump lifts ban, allows importing of elephant-hunting trophies from two countries
Summary Summary
The administration lets Americans bring in carcasses from lions, too; the effects of this change are debatable The administration lets Americans bring in carcasses from lions, too; the effects of this change are debatable
Highlights Highlights
Content Content
<span style="font-weight: 400;">On November 16, President Donald J. Trump lifted a ban that prevented hunters from importing trophy elephant and lion carcasses from Zambia and Zimbabwe. </span>  <span style="font-weight: 400">On November 16, President Donald J. Trump lifted a ban that prevented hunters from importing trophy elephant and lion carcasses from Zambia and Zimbabwe. </span>
<span style="font-weight: 400;">“</span><span style="font-weight: 400;">Legal, well-regulated sport hunting as part of a sound management program can benefit the conservation of certain species by providing incentives to local communities to conserve the species and by putting much-needed revenue back into conservation," reads a statement from the <a href="https://www.fws.gov/international/permits/by-activity/sport-hunted-trophies.html">U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.</a></span>  <span style="font-weight: 400">“</span><span style="font-weight: 400">Legal, well-regulated sport hunting as part of a sound management program can benefit the conservation of certain species by providing incentives to local communities to conserve the species and by putting much-needed revenue back into conservation," reads a statement from the <a href="https://www.fws.gov/international/permits/by-activity/sport-hunted-trophies.html">U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.</a></span>
<span style="font-weight: 400;">The ban was implemented under the </span><a href="https://www.fws.gov/news/ShowNews.cfm?ID=2E6FF2A2-E10F-82BC-DAE08807810E3C6B"><span style="font-weight: 400;">Obama Administration in 2014 </span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;">to boost conservation and anti-poaching efforts, it explicitly mentioned the elephant population of Zimbabwe as a concern.  </span>  <span style="font-weight: 400">The ban was implemented under the </span><a href="https://www.fws.gov/news/ShowNews.cfm?ID=2E6FF2A2-E10F-82BC-DAE08807810E3C6B"><span style="font-weight: 400">Obama Administration in 2014 </span></a><span style="font-weight: 400">to boost conservation and anti-poaching efforts, it explicitly mentioned the elephant population of Zimbabwe as a concern.  </span>
<span style="font-weight: 400;">While the Trump Administration's decision only affects Zambia and Zimbabwe, the wildlife service said it is <a href="https://www.fws.gov/international/pdf/questions-and-answers-suspension-of-elephant-sport-hunted-trophies.pdf">considering a similar move</a> regarding Tanzania.</span>  <span style="font-weight: 400">While the Trump Administration's decision only affects Zambia and Zimbabwe, the wildlife service said it is <a href="https://www.fws.gov/international/pdf/questions-and-answers-suspension-of-elephant-sport-hunted-trophies.pdf">considering a similar move</a> regarding Tanzania.</span>
Before Barack Obama issued the ban, poaching of elephants was severe. The elephant population in the savanna of Zambia and Zimbabwe declined by 30 percent between 2007 and 2014 due to poaching, according to the <a href="http://www.greatelephantcensus.com/final-report">Great Elephant Census</a>. Before Barack Obama issued the ban, poaching of elephants was severe. The elephant population in the savanna of Zambia and Zimbabwe declined by 30 percent between 2007 and 2014 due to poaching, according to the <a href="http://www.greatelephantcensus.com/final-report">Great Elephant Census</a>.
Since 1978, the African elephant has been <a href="https://ecos.fws.gov/ecp0/profile/speciesProfile?spcode=A07U">listed as an endangered species</a> under the <a href="https://www.fws.gov/endangered/laws-policies/">U.S. Endangered Species Act</a>. Since 1978, the African elephant has been <a href="https://ecos.fws.gov/ecp0/profile/speciesProfile?spcode=A07U">listed as an endangered species</a> under the <a href="https://www.fws.gov/endangered/laws-policies/">U.S. Endangered Species Act</a>.
<span style="font-weight: 400;">The Trump Administration released another <a href="https://www.fws.gov/international/pdf/questions-and-answers-suspension-of-elephant-sport-hunted-trophies.pdf">statement</a> explaining that the  suspension of elephant trophies was lifted because "</span><span style="font-family: inherit; font-size: 1.6rem;">facts on the ground have changed and improved" in Zimbabwe. </span><span style="font-family: inherit; font-size: 1.6rem;">Though the same report also stated "inadequate information" regarding the current Zimbabwe elephant population. </span>  <span style="font-weight: 400">The Trump Administration released another <a href="https://www.fws.gov/international/pdf/questions-and-answers-suspension-of-elephant-sport-hunted-trophies.pdf">statement</a> explaining that the suspension of elephant trophies was lifted because "facts on the ground have changed and improved" in Zimbabwe. Though the same report also stated "inadequate information" regarding the current Zimbabwe elephant population. </span>
<span style="font-weight: 400;">The hunting of African elephants in </span><a href="http://www.africanskyhunting.co.za/africanhuntingpackages.html"><span style="font-weight: 400;">Zambia</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;"> and Zimbabwe has always been legal with the proper permits. The previous ban simply prevented big-game hunters from importing the trophies into the U.S. as a way to discourage the practice.</span>  <span style="font-weight: 400">The hunting of African elephants in </span><a href="http://www.africanskyhunting.co.za/africanhuntingpackages.html"><span style="font-weight: 400">Zambia</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400"> and Zimbabwe has always been legal with the proper permits. The previous ban simply prevented big-game hunters from importing the trophies into the U.S. as a way to discourage the practice.</span>
Several trophy hunting companies based in Zimbabwe and Zambia already advertise to U.S residents. <a href="http://www.nyamazanasafaris.com/packages/XXXXX%20in%20XXXX%20cost%20XXXXX.">Nyamazana Safaris</a>, for example, quoted elephant hunting $1,700 a day, and $17,000 for the carcass as a trophy, before the import ban was lifted. Several trophy hunting companies based in Zimbabwe and Zambia already advertise to U.S residents. <a href="http://www.nyamazanasafaris.com/packages/XXXXX%20in%20XXXX%20cost%20XXXXX.">Nyamazana Safaris</a>, for example, quoted elephant hunting $1,700 a day, and $17,000 for the carcass as a trophy, before the import ban was lifted.
[caption id="attachment_21305" align="aligncenter" width="620"]<img class="size-medium wp-image-21305" src="https://s3-eu-west-1.amazonaws.com/wikitribune-uploads-master/2017/11/Screen-Shot-2017-11-16-at-7.08.31-PM-620x343.png" alt="" width="620" height="343" /> The 'Big Five' of big-game hunting, according to the African Sky, a Zambia-based company (Screenshot)[/caption] [caption id="attachment_21305" align="aligncenter" width="620"]<img class="size-medium wp-image-21305" src="https://s3-eu-west-1.amazonaws.com/wikitribune-uploads-master/2017/11/Screen-Shot-2017-11-16-at-7.08.31-PM-620x343.png" alt="" width="620" height="343" /> The 'Big Five' of big-game hunting, according to the African Sky, a Zambia-based company (Screenshot)[/caption]
<span style="font-weight: 400;">The Trump Administration’s decision to lift the ban on elephant trophies has received <a href="https://twitter.com/rickygervais/status/931208702207676416">public backlash on Twitter.</a> Though many in the conservation community see benefit in trophy hunting.</span>  <span style="font-weight: 400">The Trump Administration’s decision to lift the ban on elephant trophies has received <a href="https://twitter.com/rickygervais/status/931208702207676416">public backlash on Twitter.</a> Though many in the conservation community see benefit in trophy hunting.</span>
<h2><b>Argument for well-regulated hunting</b></h2> <h2><b>Argument for well-regulated hunting</b></h2>
<span style="font-weight: 400;">The Trump Administration and advocates of legal trophy hunting claim that that the money from these expeditions helps </span><a href="https://www.nytimes.com/2015/09/13/world/a-hunting-ban-saps-a-villages-livelihood.html?_r=0"><span style="font-weight: 400;">finance and incentivize conservation efforts </span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;">because they give these elephants value outside of poaching.</span>  <span style="font-weight: 400">The Trump Administration and advocates of legal trophy hunting claim that that the money from these expeditions helps </span><a href="https://www.nytimes.com/2015/09/13/world/a-hunting-ban-saps-a-villages-livelihood.html?_r=0"><span style="font-weight: 400">finance and incentivize conservation efforts </span></a><span style="font-weight: 400">because they give these elephants value outside of poaching.</span>
<span style="font-weight: 400;">The International Union for Conservation of Nature is an example of a conservation organization that supports big-game hunting if it is well-regulated. </span><a href="https://cmsdata.iucn.org/downloads/iucn_ssc_guiding_principles_on_trophy_hunting_ver1_09aug2012.pdf"><span style="font-weight: 400;">In a 2012 report</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;">, the group wrote that trophy hunting  “</span><span style="font-weight: 400;">may assist in furthering conservation objectives by creating the revenue and economic incentives for the management and conservation of the target species and its habitat, as well as supporting local livelihoods.”</span>  <span style="font-weight: 400">The International Union for Conservation of Nature is an example of a conservation organization that supports big-game hunting if it is well-regulated. </span><a href="https://cmsdata.iucn.org/downloads/iucn_ssc_guiding_principles_on_trophy_hunting_ver1_09aug2012.pdf"><span style="font-weight: 400">In a 2012 report</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400">, the group wrote that trophy hunting  “</span><span style="font-weight: 400">may assist in furthering conservation objectives by creating the revenue and economic incentives for the management and conservation of the target species and its habitat, as well as supporting local livelihoods.”</span>
<span style="font-weight: 400;">African governments are some of the supporters of big-game hunting. The Namibian </span><a href="https://africageographic.com/blog/namibian-government-responds-to-elephant-hunting-debate/"><span style="font-weight: 400;">Ministry of Environment and Tourism</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;"> has been particularly vocal in seeing hunting as a means of wildlife conservation.</span>  <span style="font-weight: 400">African governments are some of the supporters of big-game hunting. The Namibian </span><a href="https://africageographic.com/blog/namibian-government-responds-to-elephant-hunting-debate/"><span style="font-weight: 400">Ministry of Environment and Tourism</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400"> has been particularly vocal in seeing hunting as a means of wildlife conservation.</span>
<span style="font-weight: 400;">“</span><span style="font-weight: 400;">There are more elephant in Namibia today than at any time in the past 100 years. One of the reasons for their increase in numbers is that they have a value,” said the ministry said in a 2014 statement.</span>  <span style="font-weight: 400">“</span><span style="font-weight: 400">There are more elephant in Namibia today than at any time in the past 100 years. One of the reasons for their increase in numbers is that they have a value,” said the ministry said in a 2014 statement.</span>
<span style="font-weight: 400;">Support for legal hunting of elephants and rhinos has increased as the role of private landowners has grown in conservation discussions. In May 2016, for example, </span><a href="http://www.reuters.com/article/us-africa-drought-zimbabwe-idUSKCN0XU0WR"><span style="font-weight: 400;">Zimbabwe sold wildlife </span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;">in public national parks to private buyers after a drought made it impossible for the government to care for all of the animals. </span>  <span style="font-weight: 400">Support for legal hunting of elephants and rhinos has increased as the role of private landowners has grown in conservation discussions. In May 2016, for example, </span><a href="http://www.reuters.com/article/us-africa-drought-zimbabwe-idUSKCN0XU0WR"><span style="font-weight: 400">Zimbabwe sold wildlife </span></a><span style="font-weight: 400">in public national parks to private buyers after a drought made it impossible for the government to care for all of the animals. </span>
<span style="font-weight: 400;">When national parks </span><a href="https://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2004/11/1105_041105_elephants.html"><span style="font-weight: 400;">reach capacity</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;">, the idea should be to offer private landowners “financial incentive” to protect endangered species, according to Nigel Leaders-Williams, professor of geography at the University of Cambridge, and an advocate for well-regulated hunting. </span>  <span style="font-weight: 400">When national parks </span><a href="https://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2004/11/1105_041105_elephants.html"><span style="font-weight: 400">reach capacity</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400">, the idea should be to offer private landowners “financial incentive” to protect endangered species, according to Nigel Leaders-Williams, professor of geography at the University of Cambridge, and an advocate for well-regulated hunting. </span>
<span style="font-weight: 400;">In a </span><a href="http://www.rhinoresourcecenter.com/pdf_files/121/1213446124.pdf"><span style="font-weight: 400;">2005 report</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;"> in the Journal of International Wildlife Law and Policy, Leader-Williams pointed to the growing rhino population growing by 80 percent in Namibia as an example of responsible trophy hunting.</span>  <span style="font-weight: 400">In a </span><a href="http://www.rhinoresourcecenter.com/pdf_files/121/1213446124.pdf"><span style="font-weight: 400">2005 report</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400"> in the Journal of International Wildlife Law and Policy, Leader-Williams pointed to the growing rhino population growing by 80 percent in Namibia as an example of responsible trophy hunting.</span>
<span style="font-weight: 400;"> “Legislative changes allowed landowners to benefit directly from managing wildlife on their land,” he wrote.</span>  <span style="font-weight: 400"> “Legislative changes allowed landowners to benefit directly from managing wildlife on their land,” he wrote.</span>
<h2><b>Argument against trophy hunting</b></h2> <h2><b>Argument against trophy hunting</b></h2>
<span style="font-weight: 400;">While supporters of trophy hunting point to Namibia, detractors point to Kenya as their success story. Kenya has outlawed big-game hunting and has </span><a href="https://uk.reuters.com/article/us-wildlife-elephants/elephant-poaching-in-africa-down-but-still-far-too-high-cites-idUKKCN1081FD"><span style="font-weight: 400;">low poaching rates</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;"> compared to other African nations. </span>  <span style="font-weight: 400">While supporters of trophy hunting point to Namibia, detractors point to Kenya as their success story. Kenya has outlawed big-game hunting and has </span><a href="https://uk.reuters.com/article/us-wildlife-elephants/elephant-poaching-in-africa-down-but-still-far-too-high-cites-idUKKCN1081FD"><span style="font-weight: 400">low poaching rates</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400"> compared to other African nations. </span>
<span style="font-weight: 400;">This is in large part because the country has prioritized funding conservation parks, according to Andrea Crosta, Executive Director of the Elephant League. </span>  <span style="font-weight: 400">This is in large part because the country has prioritized funding conservation parks, according to Andrea Crosta, Executive Director of the Elephant League. </span>
<span style="font-weight: 400;">“</span><span style="font-weight: 400;">The benefits of trophy hunting are not even remotely comparable with the benefits that local communities enjoy from millions of tourists that visit Africa every year, without a rifle,” </span><span style="font-weight: 400;">Crosta told <em>WikiTribune</em> via email</span>  <span style="font-weight: 400">“</span><span style="font-weight: 400">The benefits of trophy hunting are not even remotely comparable with the benefits that local communities enjoy from millions of tourists that visit Africa every year, without a rifle,” </span><span style="font-weight: 400">Crosta told <em>WikiTribune</em> via email</span>
<span style="font-weight: 400;">The most significant concern is that trophy hunting lets poachers to get their product, ivory in particular, on the black market easier. </span><a href="https://www.news24.com/SouthAfrica/News/Sex-workers-used-to-hunt-rhino-20110722"><span style="font-weight: 400;">News 24</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;">, a South-African media outlet, found that a Thai businessman was able to sell ivory on the black market in 2011 from carcasses he said were "trophies".</span>  <span style="font-weight: 400">The most significant concern is that trophy hunting lets poachers to get their product, ivory in particular, on the black market easier. </span><a href="https://www.news24.com/SouthAfrica/News/Sex-workers-used-to-hunt-rhino-20110722"><span style="font-weight: 400">News 24</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400">, a South-African media outlet, found that a Thai businessman was able to sell ivory on the black market in 2011 from carcasses he said were "trophies".</span>
<span style="font-weight: 400;">“</span><span style="font-weight: 400;">Trophy hunting is the perfect laundering mechanism," Crosta said. "You legally import ivory, rhino horn or lions as trophies and sell them to the illegal wildlife market.”</span>  <span style="font-weight: 400">“</span><span style="font-weight: 400">Trophy hunting is the perfect laundering mechanism," Crosta said. "You legally import ivory, rhino horn or lions as trophies and sell them to the illegal wildlife market.”</span>
<span style="font-weight: 400;">Little evidence shows that the revenue generated from foreign trophy hunters actually trickles down to villagers who live near the hunting grounds. An estimated 3 percent of profits from big-game hunting goes towards local communities, according to a </span><a href="https://ora.ox.ac.uk/objects/uuid:e94574bb-8bf4-4753-8d5f-9a0b962b5abd"><span style="font-weight: 400;">report from </span><span style="font-weight: 400;">Hassanali Thomas Sachedina</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;"> of the University of Oxford. (Study made publicly available </span><a href="http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2015/images/05/19/oxfordstudy.pdf"><span style="font-weight: 400;">by CNN</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;">). Similar figures have been cited by the </span><a href="https://www.ifaw.org/sites/default/files/Ecolarge-2013-200m-question.pdf"><span style="font-weight: 400;">African Lion Coalition</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;">. </span>  <span style="font-weight: 400">Little evidence shows that the revenue generated from foreign trophy hunters actually trickles down to villagers who live near the hunting grounds. An estimated 3 percent of profits from big-game hunting goes towards local communities, according to a </span><a href="https://ora.ox.ac.uk/objects/uuid:e94574bb-8bf4-4753-8d5f-9a0b962b5abd"><span style="font-weight: 400">report from </span><span style="font-weight: 400">Hassanali Thomas Sachedina</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400"> of the University of Oxford. (Study made publicly available </span><a href="http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2015/images/05/19/oxfordstudy.pdf"><span style="font-weight: 400">by CNN</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400">). Similar figures have been cited by the </span><a href="https://www.ifaw.org/sites/default/files/Ecolarge-2013-200m-question.pdf"><span style="font-weight: 400">African Lion Coalition</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400">. </span>
<span style="font-weight: 400;">The conversation and economic benefits of big-game hunting in Africa are exaggerated, said the African Wildlife Federation.  </span>  <span style="font-weight: 400">The conversation and economic benefits of big-game hunting in Africa are exaggerated, said the African Wildlife Federation.  </span>
<span style="font-weight: 400;">“If the Trump administration is serious about conservation, AWF encourages the U.S. government to step forward with the necessary financial support to Zimbabwe and other wildlife range states for anti-poaching and associated rural community development,” the </span><a href="http://www.awf.org/news/awf-statement-about-us-governments-recent-decision-trophy-hunting"><span style="font-weight: 400;">AWF wrote in a November 16 statement</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;">.</span>  <span style="font-weight: 400">“If the Trump administration is serious about conservation, AWF encourages the U.S. government to step forward with the necessary financial support to Zimbabwe and other wildlife range states for anti-poaching and associated rural community development,” the </span><a href="http://www.awf.org/news/awf-statement-about-us-governments-recent-decision-trophy-hunting"><span style="font-weight: 400">AWF wrote in a November 16 statement</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400">.</span>
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