According to NPR, the Trump administration has quietly lifted a ban on importing elephant trophies from some African countries. Three months ago, President Trump paused the lift on the ban amidst public outrage.
In a March 1 memo, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service said that the agency will consider importation permits “on a case-by-case basis.” the memo wasn’t publicized by the agency.
When the Fish and Wildlife Service announced that it lifted the ban in November 2017, Trump said he would need to put the move “on hold until such time as I review all conservation facts.” He then tweeted two days later: “Big-game trophy decision will be announced next week but will be very hard pressed to change my mind that this horror show in any way helps conservation of Elephants or any other animal.”
In late January, Trump again said he would not lift the ban.
"I didn't want elephants killed and stuffed and have the tusks brought back into this [country]. And people can talk all they want about preservation and all other things that they're saying," he said.
Since then, the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that the ban was improperly administered by the Obama administration because it did not observe rules around creating a new regulation.
"The Trump administration is trying to keep these crucial trophy import decisions behind closed doors, and that's totally unacceptable," Tanya Sanerib of the Center for Biological Diversity said. "Elephants aren't meant to be trophies; they're meant to roam free."
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