In 2014, President Barack Obama banned the importation of elephant parts from Zambia and Zimbabwe, which are generally accrued during big game hunts. On Wednesday, the Trump administration announced a reversal of that ban.
Elephants are listed as endangered species, but because of a legal loophole, hunters may legally kill them as part of "conservation" efforts, which is how their hunting is justified. The Humane Society called it a "pay to slay" program that benefits the government while hurting the elephant population. The logic is that the money spent to kill the older animals is then spent on conservation on the newer populations. It's an expensive practice to manage some of the protected lands so they claim the money from hunters helps fund that. Whether or not that's true -- the sick practice of importing elephant parts only encourages poaching which effectively renders a lot of the conservation efforts useless.
But a spokesperson from the Department of Fish and Wildlife justified reversing the ban in a statement to USA Today:
"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 of the animals.
People are sickened and horrified, and pointing out the obvious: Trump seemingly cares more about rich people's heinous idea of entertainment than doing anything for the general public:
Both of Trump's sons are apparently fans of big game hunting, and now they can import all the slaughtered elephants they want. This is how the president is using his office: benefitting his family and, if you ask me, encouraging the slaughter of innocents animals. Is there an Evil Villain Bingo card he's trying to win?
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