GOP Congressman Calls for Ban on Elephant Hunts

Eric Trump on a hunt in Africa

A provision of the Act allows governments to give permits to import such trophies if evidence exists that the slaughter of the animals benefits the conservation of that species, an argument a Trump administration official made citing new information from officials in the two African nations, according to ABC News.

The Fish and Wildlife Service said in a written notice issued Thursday that permitting parts of elephants from Zimbabwe and Zambia to be brought back as trophies will raise money for conservation programs.

"Put big game trophy decision on hold until such time as I review all conservation facts".

Animal rights groups blasted the decision.

Last night, Trump announced that he would hold up the change in policy until it has been reviewed.

Earlier on Friday, Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders defended Trump's original repeal of the ban, saying, "This review established that both Zambia and Zimbabwe had met new standards, strict worldwide conservation standards that allowed Americans to resume hunting in those countries".

Public outrage against the administration's original decision to overturn the Obama ban was not limited to the US.

African elephants' population shrank by 30% from 2007 to 2014, in large part because of poaching. "Furthermore, I am not convinced that elephant populations in the area warrant overconcentration measures".

The Arizona-based Center for Biological Diversity, which advocates for animal rights, applauded the decision to reimpose the ban, but said more needed to be done.

But even some of Trump's biggest supporters couldn't fathom his original decision.

Following this tweet, many took to Twitter to thank the president for keeping the ban in place.

As a result, the number of African elephants has shrunk from about five million a century ago to about 400,000 remaining.

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