Trump administration is set to reverse a 2014 ban on allowing hunters to bring back to the United States trophies of elephants they killed in Zambia and Zimbabwe, a U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service official confirmed to ABC News
According to ABC News, a U.S. Fish and Wildlife official confirmed the proposed rule change, which is officially intended to reflect new information from in-country officials that “hunting actually benefits conservation for that species.”
The ban on imports of sport-hunted African elephant trophies from Zimbabwe was initially imposed by the Obama administration in 2014 as part of a national strategy for combating wildlife trafficking.
The administration said at the time that “Additional killing of elephants in these countries, even if legal, is not sustainable and is not currently supporting conservation efforts that contribute towards the recovery of the species.”
In Zambia, the government has banned elephant hunting at various times, but in 2015, it was re-established after they determined the elephant population had grown. In Zimbabwe, poaching has long been an issue with a lot of corruption in the hunting industry.
According to WWF, African elephants are listed as threatened under the US Endangered Species Act with their population declining by 111,000 in the last decade due in large part to poaching.