Big game baby: White House plans end-run around animal hunting ban

The future of endangered animals is a lot more precarious

Published March 16, 2018 9:06AM (EDT)

 (AP Photo/Renee Graham)
(AP Photo/Renee Graham)

There's been an internal debate played out over whether or not President Donald Trump will reverse an Obama-era ban on big game hunting — specifically, importing skins of endangered species. While the president has directly said that he wouldn't overturn the mandate, all signs are pointing to an overturn of the ban. Per the Associated Press:

A new U.S. advisory board created to help rewrite federal rules for importing the heads and hides of African elephants, lions and rhinos is stacked with trophy hunters, including some members with direct ties to President Donald Trump and his family.

A review by The Associated Press of the backgrounds and social media posts of the 16 board members appointed by Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke indicates they will agree with his position that the best way to protect critically threatened or endangered species is by encouraging wealthy Americans to shoot some of them.

Even though the president himself has claimed to despite the act of shooting endangered species, his interior secretary, Ryan Zinke, hasn't held the same beliefs. Zinke has come out in favor of handing over environmental issues to the private sector, including a decision to allow the slaughter of wild horses in the country.

But this isn't just a plan to go back to the glory days of taking home trophy animals. There's also a chance that someone on the commission to determine the fate of Obama's decision could make a good profit on overturning it.

One appointee co-owns a private New York hunting preserve with Trump’s adult sons. The oldest son, Donald Trump Jr., drew the ire of animal rights activists after a 2011 photo emerged of him holding a bloody knife and the severed tail of an elephant he killed in Zimbabwe.

By Jeremy Binckes

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Related Topics ------------------------------------------

Animal Hunting Endangered Species Trophy Hunting