President Trump’s Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) announced last week that it will now consider all permits for importing elephant trophies from African nations on a “case-by-case basis,” breaking the president’s earlier promises to maintain an Obama-era ban on the practice.
The FWS issued a formal memorandum on Thursday announcing that it will withdraw its 2017 Endangered Species Act (ESA) findings for trophies of African elephants from Zimbabwe and Zambia, “effective immediately.”
“The findings are no longer effective for making individual permit determinations for imports of sport-hunted African elephant trophies,” the memo said.
FWS will instead “grant or deny permits to import a sport-hunted trophy on a case-by-case basis.”
Trump in February called the administration’s initial decision to overturn the Obama-era ban “terrible.”
In an interview with British journalist Piers Morgan, Trump said he had decided to officially turn the order around.
“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 of the things that they’re saying where money goes towards ― well, money was going ― in that case, going to a government which was probably taking the money, OK?” Trump told Piers Morgan.