News reports that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has lifted an Obama-era ban on importing elephant trophies from Africa are misleading, the federal bureau contends.
Fish and Wildlife, a bureau of the Department of the Interior, was forced to propose a new policy after a federal appeals court ruled in late December the Obama administration did not follow proper regulatory procedures when it implemented its ban on the importation of elephant-hunting trophies from Zimbabwe.
The bureau insisted it has kept in place its obligations under the Endangered Species Act, which designated the African elephant as endangered in 1979. But, now, instead of a blanket ban no trophy imports, it will evaluate permit applications on a case-by case basis, continuing to use the criterion that granting the permit would enhance the survival of the species in the wild.
The Endangered Species Act required Fish and Wildlife to create periodic “countrywide enhancement findings” that evaluate how a particular country manages conservation and