Trump reverses elephant trophy decision, keeps ban

Trump reverses elephant trophy decision, keeps ban

President Donald Trump said he's delaying a new policy allowing trophies of African elephants shot for sport to be imported until he can review "all conservation facts". The US Fish and Wildlife Service had already moved to begin allowing people to import hunted lion trophies from Zambia and Zimbabwe.

"They pay loads of money to pick from a menu of what animals they want to kill and a guide basically takes them right to it - zero bravery and not much actual skill involved".

The Republican chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, Rep. Ed Royce, R-Calif., called the Fish and Wildlife Service decision to lift the ban "the wrong move at the wrong time" and in a statement on Friday called on the Trump administration to withdraw it.

Earlier on Friday, Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders defended Trump's original repeal of the ban, saying, "This review established that both Zambia and Zimbabwe had met new standards, strict global conservation standards that allowed Americans to resume hunting in those countries".

Obama imposed the ban to help save elephant and lion populations in Zimbabwe and Zambia.

Public outrage against the administration's original decision to overturn the Obama ban was not limited to the US.

The African bush elephant is now listed as endangered under the Endangered Species Act, but a provision of the law allows for the import of trophies if it can be proved that hunting the animals contributes to conservation efforts.

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However, critics say it will harm the dwindling elephant population.

Illicit demand for elephant ivory has led to devastating losses from illegal poaching as the natural habitat available for the animals to roam has also dwindled by more than half.

Trump's sons Donald Jr. and Eric are themselves big game hunters.

As a result, the number of African elephants has shrunk from about five million a century ago to about 400,000 remaining.

"We don't get a second chance once a species becomes extinct".

President Donald Trump said Friday that he has chose to put a decision about big-game trophies on hold. "This is the kind of trade we don't need".

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