US Lifts Ban On Hunting Trophies From Zimbabwe – FALSE

Over the past few days, there have been many questions regarding the article "US Lifts Ban On Hunting Trophies From Zimbabwe" published by InsiderZim & The Source, see below. However there was no explanation for lifting the ban nor any press release from the United States Fish & Wildlife Service. Both the US Safari Club and NRA were also mentioned, neither have issued a statement of these alleged changes. The article only claims that, "The United States of America has lifted its ban on hunting trophies from Zimbabwe, allowing the country to resume exports later this year, per the environment minister."

We reached out and spoke with an agent at USFWS International Affairs - Division of Management Authority, he explained that the information published in those articles is not true, no changes have been made at this time. Also per USFWS (via Twitter) in response to the below article, "That is false! Thanks for bringing to our attention. Here's the current fact sheet if people are asking: Questions and Answers - Importation of Elephant Hunting Trophies Taken in Tanzania and Zimbabwe in 2015 and Beyond."

*Update: No Changes In Zimbabwe Importation Status
- Safari Club International

- HARARE, July 6 (The Source)

The United States of America has lifted its ban on hunting trophies from Zimbabwe, allowing the country to resume exports later this year, the environment minister said on Thursday.

On April 4, 2014, the US Fish and Wildlife Service announced an interim suspension of imports of sport-hunted African elephant trophies hunted in Zimbabwe, which it later extended to 2015 and “indefinitely into the future,” because the government’s measures to protect the animals did not enhance the survival of the species.

The decision was challenged by the US Safari Club and the powerful National Rifle Association but a US District Court upheld the ban.

Environment, Water and Climate Minister Oppah Muchinguri- Kashiri said that according to the provisions of the waiver, Zimbabwe would start exporting the outstanding trophies in the second quarter of 2017.

“All the trophies which were being held in the country will be exported this year but under strict conditions. We have been given an opportunity to export again into the US,” she said.

The US ban preceded the controversial killing of the hugely popular Cecil, a 13-year-old male lion which lived in Zimbabwe’s Hwange National Park, by Walter Palmer, a US trophy hunter in July, 2015. The killing led to calls for tighter controls on hunting trophy imports by mainly western countries.

Zimbabwe hosts hunters from various countries including Russia, the United States, Hungary, Spain and Germany who pay to shoot animals such as lions, elephants and leopards, earning the country millions in revenue.

United States provide the bulk of the hunters and the existence of the ban has had negative effects on hunting revenue.

Bookings for the 2017 hunting season, which runs between April and November each year, are up 20 percent from the previous year’s $70 million, despite the embargo by the US.

The 2016 hunting season was depressed as most hunters stayed away due to uncertainty over proposals by some Western countries to impose stricter hunting controls on elephants and lions by mostly African countries.

July 10th, 2017

2 Responses

  1. ChristopherG
    The PDF cited/linked above only mentions elephant trophies. Says nothing about lions, leopards, caracals, etc. Do we know the status of importation of big cat trophies? One would hope it would apply to the cats as well.
    • The linked PDF is the current fact sheet directly from USFWS International Affairs Program. We just made an update, which comes from SCI (Safari Club International) stating, "the existing bans on African lion and elephant importation from Zimbabwe remain in effect. SCI received confirmation of this information yesterday from the U.S. Department of the Interior. Unfortunately, press releases and news reports coming from Zimbabwe during the last several days incorrectly reported that the U.S. position on importation of lions and elephants from Zimbabwe had changed."

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