FWS Continues to Ignore Science and Upholds Ban

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Washington, D.C. – Safari Club International (SCI) and millions of hunter conservationists worldwide are shocked and disappointed by the decision by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) today to continue the ban of elephant trophy imports from Zimbabwe.

“Like my fellow hunters, I am disappointed in the FWS decision to persist  in upholding a ban that has absolutely no basis in science,” said SCI President Craig Kauffman.  “The fact is this administration continues to publicly talk about the benefits of hunting while siding with anti-hunting extremists time after time. SCI’s Washington team will do everything within its power to reverse  this misguided and baseless policy.”

This decision comes after months of both SCI and Zimbabwe providing data and answers to the  laundry list of questions submitted by the FWS.  Both Zimbabwe and SCI provided tomes of information that supported Zimbabwe’s elephant management plan and regulated hunting program. Sadly, this data demonstrated that Zimbabwe is actually facing an overpopulation of elephants and not the drastic decline that alarmists would have you believe.

Removing the U.S. hunter from the landscape of Africa’s great outdoors will permanently handicap communal wildlife administrators in their fight against poachers and result is significantly less money for conservation and rural development.

  • Problems with poaching in Zimbabwe will be exacerbated by this ill-advised ban by the FWS.
  • International hunters are the first line of defense for conservation, management, and anti-poaching throughout Africa.
  • When wildlife has no value, hundreds of years of history prove that it will most certainly be slaughtered indiscriminately.

Examples of how hunter derived revenue are critically important to the rural economy of Zimbabwe:

  • In Zimbabwe hunter derived revenue contributes between 60-90% of the annual budget for the Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Management Authority. This funding is critical to on the ground anti-poaching efforts.
  • The fees paid by international hunters are immediately reinvested in community projects through the CAMPFIRE program.
  • An average of 90% of CAMPFIRE revenue annually comes from hunting.  Elephant trophy hunting contributes more than 70% of CAMPFIRE’s annual revenue.  On average $2 million per year in net income directly benefits local communities, and most of this is derived from the lease of sport hunting rights to commercial safari operators in 49 CAMPFIRE hunting concessions.  Further income is generated from sales of hides and ivory, tourism leases on communal land, and other natural resource management activities.

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MEDIA CONTACT:  media@safariclub.org

Safari Club International – First For Hunters is the leader in protecting the freedom to hunt and in promoting wildlife conservation worldwide. SCI’s approximately 200 Chapters represent all 50 of the United States as well as 106 other countries. SCI’s proactive leadership in a host of cooperative wildlife conservation, outdoor education and humanitarian programs, along with the SCI Foundation and other conservation groups, research institutions and government agencies, empowers sportsmen to be contributing community members and participants in sound wildlife management and conservation. Visit http://www.safariclub.org for more information.

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Comments
3 Responses to “FWS Continues to Ignore Science and Upholds Ban”
  1. David Watson says:

    I hunt Southern Africa 2 or 3 times per year in an effort to assist a local group of farmers manage their game herds. I mostly cull. Over the past 9 years I have observed, up close, managed local hunting systems work for the community, the hunters, and the health of the game. Where elephants are not controlled, their populations grow and they become very destructive to the environment, and to people living in those environments. Hunters are a part of the management solution in partnership with farm owners, villagers, and local government. It is a shame that the US government in its arrogance erroneously thinks it knows what is best for others, and ignores the advice of those who live, work, and govern in the situation.

  2. L. Rolyat says:

    The FWS decision will soon have all the anti-hunting lobby groups out of a job. It’s not going to be long before there is no wildlife left in Africa, for hunting or for looking at.

  3. T. Hysell says:

    Legal, highly documented and monitored, hunting trophy imports are not the issue – poaching is the issue. This ban will do nothing to prevent the illegal import of ivory on the black markets. If anything, I assume it has marginally increased the value of ivory, making elephants even more desirable targets to poachers in the area.

    I was with a group in Zim this past June. A bull elephant was poached no more than a 1500 yards away from one of our hunting parties. They heard the rifle shot and the PH thought to investigate since it did not sound like any of the rifles we had brought for the trip. Upon determining where the shot came from, the group found the carcus of the elephant. In that very short time, the poachers were able to make precise cuts to cleanly chop out the ivory – a process many hunters know to take hours to complete by skilled camp workers. The PH and ranger attempted to follow the poachers but were unable to pursue once the poachers travelled by boat across the Zambezi to Zambia.

    Poachers, although sometimes primitive, are highly skilled in their profoundly devious profession. Without the constant presence and intercession of rangers and PHs in the field during hunting expeditions, it is hard to imagine what will happen to these beautiful and cherished animals.

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