Trump administration makes it

Image credit: Chris van Kan

Trump administration makes it legal to bring elephant parts to US

The Trump administration has quietly slipped a law change through the cracks. South Africans will definitely not like it

Trump administration makes it

Image credit: Chris van Kan

There are a lot of things to dislike about Donald Trump. For South Africans, the fact that he and his family love hunting elephants is one of them. Now, the Trump administration has made changes that will allow Americans to bring tusks and other body parts into their country.

Trump and the wildlife hunters

The change means hunting trophies are now back to being legal, a big change from the Obama-era trophy ban. The decision slipped quietly under the radar as it appeared in a 1 March memorandum from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

The memo announced that the previous rules on trophy hunting would be withdrawn.  The agency will now allow sport hunters to obtain permits for their trophy items on a “case-by-case basis”.

Back in November, Trump had a “different” stance on hunting after huge public outcry. The Fish and Wildlife Service previously announced a repeal of the ban on importing elephant tusks from Zimbabwe and Zambia. The world was furious and Trump put the move on hold and even called elephant hunting a “horror show”.

It’s not like there are a lot of elephants either, in fact, African elephants have been declared threatened as part of the Endangered Species Act since 1979.

“The Trump administration is trying to keep these crucial trophy import decisions behind closed doors, and that’s totally unacceptable,” Tanya Sanerib, international legal director at the Center for Biological Diversity, told the Associated Press.

Trump’s sons, Donald Jr. and Eric are both avid game hunters. A photograph from 2011 showing Trump Jr. holding a knife and elephants tail has gone viral on multiple occasions. Trump’s secretary of Interior, which houses the wildlife agency, is a hunter too.

Earlier this year, the Fish and Wildlife Service began allowing African lions hunted and killed in Zimbabwe and Zambia to be imported.