Donald Trump froze Friday night permission to import trophies of elephants killed in Zimbabwe and Zambia, just 24 hours after the announcement very controversial by his administration to reinstate these permits.
Animal and environmental advocacy groups in the United States and around the world have been on the rise since Thursday against the decision, which was a ban imposed by the previous administration of Barack Obama.
President Donald Trump announced on Twitter the “freezing of the decision on trophies while he (it) verifies the facts on the conservation”, promising to give “quickly” news on the question with his Minister of Resources natural, Ryan Zinke.
The Republican billionaire seems to have taken into account the almost unanimous outcry of the decision, which reopened the possibility for American hunters to return to the United States for example with feet, heads, or very sought after ivory tusks. elephants.
The US Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS), the US federal agency for hunting and fishing, announced on Thursday that it would “issue licenses to import elephant trophies hunted by hobby in Zimbabwe from 21 January 2016 until 31 December 2018 “. This was also valid for Zambia, according to its website.
The administration of the Republican president exploited for this purpose an aspect of the American Endangered Species Act, which stipulates that the importation of such trophies may be legal if proof is given that hunting benefits the wider conservation of species.
Brigitte Bardot against Donald Trump
“The hunt for leisure, legal, well framed, as part of a program, can benefit the conservation of certain species by encouraging local populations to conserve species and injecting money into conservation,” explained as well the USFWS on Thursday.
In a letter sent Friday before the announcement of the freeze by the Republican President, whose two eldest sons Eric and Donald Jr are known to be hunting enthusiasts in Africa, Brigitte Bardot denounced the decision.
“No despot in the world can take the responsibility to make disappear a thousand-year-old species belonging to the world heritage of humanity,” wrote the former French actress who created the Brigitte Bardot Foundation for the protection of animals.
“The elephant is a sacred animal, magical, unique, respected, and protected. By acting so unworthy you confirm the rumors that doubt your presidential abilities, “wrote the 83-year-old star, denouncing” the decadent deadly authority to which you submit the animal and plant kingdom as a whole. ”
According to the Great Elephant Census, the number of pachyderms fell by 30% between 2007 and 2014 in Africa, with a 6% decline for Zimbabwe.
Many American associations had, like The Elephant Project, deplored a “reprehensible behavior of the Trump administration”. “100 elephants are already killed every day. This will lead to more poaching, “said the organization.
For its part, the US Center for Biodiversity had lamented that by allowing “the heads, feet and tails of dead elephants to enter the United States,” Donald Trump “legalizes the killing of endangered elephants” .