The recent policy change by the Trump administration lifting the ban on importation of elephant trophies from Africa is profoundly disappointing and has opened a Pandora’s Box on illegal trade.
The policy provides an outlet for illegal traffickers to move their products under the umbrella of “legally acquired trophies.” For those who think that regulation would eliminate illegalities, they have not experienced the extent of the corruption that runs rampant throughout the African continent. However, it is the moral and ethical issues that are the most troublesome.
I support hunters who hunt and consume accepted prey species. Legitimate and ethical hunters make a significant contribution to conservation.
Animals like deer and waterfowl no longer face many of their natural predators, like wolves and mountain lions, because those predators have been wiped out over much of their natural range; the balance has been altered.
Without a carefully managed hunting season, populations could explode and lead to starvation and epidemic illness.
Do not compare the conservation ethic of a deer or game bird hunter to the self-centered, egotistical person who thinks that because he or she pays a tremendous amount of money, they are entitled to kill a majestic animal.
I have been to Africa more than 50 times and I know very little of that money actually goes to conservation.
I don’t like to delve into politics as I am not fond of any of it, but the president’s decision is a clear reflection of his belief that everything has a price.
Killing elephants for trophies contributes to the degradation of our moral and ethical compass and is another horrific example of a culture and attitude that I find abhorrent and profoundly offensive.
What message are we giving our children?