The “Trump Administration” announced Thursday, November 16, 2017 that it has lifted an Obama-era ban on importing sport-hunted trophies of elephants from Zimbabwe and Zambia. As to be expected, the Liberals and Progressives, along with each and every opportunistic Democrat looking towards the 2018 elections went into acute paroxysms of their madness, ranting that President Trump did this because his sons like to “sport hunt.”
But the elephant in the room (pun intended) is the big pile of facts that contradict the Leftists’ narrative – not that their sort would ever allow facts to trump (again, pun intended) narrative and subjective experience.
President Trump was not involved with- or likely cognizant of the US Fish & Wildlife Service’s International Affairs department’s decision to end the Obama Era ban on the importation of elephant trophies from Zimbabwe and Zambia, just as Obama was not involved with their 2015 decision to enact that ban in the first place. The ban put in place in 2015 was was done by the USFWS because they determined that Zimbabwe could not adequately by both US and CITES standards prove it could implement laws to protect elephants. In 2018 the USFWS determined that these two countries had now reached compliance. In both cases these decisions were made by career employees of the USFWS without any direction from the White House.
The ban and it’s lifting were also both specifically targeted at Zimbabwe and Zambia. Importing elephant trophies from legal sport hunts in South Africa and Namibia were and are still allowed. Conversely, such imports from Tanzania were also banned in 2014 and remain so to this day. At no time relevant to this situation has the US government ever had a total moratorium on sport-hunted elephant trophies, nor does it now have a totally open policy towards it.
Also note that this isn’t a wholesale slaughter of the elephants. Zimbabwe has an estimated 82,300 elephants and Zambia has 21,700. As, under CITES export quotas Zimbabwe can only allow 500 trophy hunt exports per year and Zambia only 80, we’re speaking of 0.6% and 0.3% of their respective herds per annum. How many the US government allows imported – 2 animals per hunter per year – is separate from- and irrelevant to these figures.
Yep. That’s one, big elephant in the room. One that’s going to be hard to ignore, though the anti-Trump crowd will manage to do so.