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Why This Matters: Lifting the ban has far-reaching consequences for the survival of elephants in Africa. Since 1979, African elephants have been listed as threatened under the Endangered Species Act. The population has shrunk from around 5 million a century ago to about 400,000, a drop precipitated by poaching and the demand for elephant ivory and by the loss of habitat. The Trump Administration allows the importation of elephant and other trophies, so this will give U.S. hunters another place to legally hunt elephants, expanding big game hunting tourism, which will be hard for the Botswana government to reverse again. It will also increase the amount of legal ivory in the international market, making cracking down on elephant poaching and illegal ivory sales that much tougher.Given the recent U.N. Extinction Report that calls on governments to act now to conserve biodiversity, this seems like a step in the wrong direction. If only there were U.S. government assistance to help the Botswana government deal with the legitimate issue of elephant-human conflicts.
Environmental and Animal Welfare Organizations Are Angry.
The New York Times reported that the Humane Society International, an animal welfare group based in Washington, warned in March that “reinstating trophy hunting and starting elephant culls could hurt the country’s economy.”
The Government also argues that limited trophy hunting would generate more revenue for conservation efforts.
The end to the elephant prohibition comes at a contentious time though, as the 2019 elections loom closer and President Masisi needs votes – particularly those of the rural sector — to win re-election.
by Amy Lupica, ODP Staff Writer After centuries of overhunting, beavers may receive new protections in the Beaver State. Two bills have been introduced to the Oregon Legislative Assembly that would ban the killing of beavers on federally managed public land and exclude beavers from being classified as predatory animals. Experts hope that protected beaver populations will improve the health of their entire […]
by Natasha Lasky, ODP Staff Writer As the Guardian reported, California is now in its second year of drought after a winter with little precipitation and it is the state’s fourth-driest year on record, especially in the northern two-thirds of the state, according to the California Department of Water Resources. Because of drought conditions, the […]
By Azzedine Downes In 1965, the Canadian government asked then 30-year-old Brian Davies to join a group of consultants to visit the annual seal “hunt” taking place in the Gulf of St. Lawrence in Eastern Canada. The government sought feedback on how to make the hunt more humane. What Davies saw was there would change […]
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