The Trump administration will begin allowing hunters to bring into the United States “trophy” elephants killed in Zimbabwe, reversing a 2014 ban on a practice that has received intense scrutiny in recent years.
Though African elephants are protected under the Endangered Species Act, the law allows the United States Fish and Wildlife Service to authorise imports of trophies if the agency finds that the hunts in which the animals were killed contribute to the survival of the species.
The United States banned such imports from Zimbabwe in 2014 because of a lack of data on conservation efforts there. Now the United States agency says it is satisfied with Zimbabwe’s actions and believes such hunts can be beneficial for the species by bringing money to local communities and providing incentives to conserve elephants.
The Lufthansa Group will continue to honour their current policy of not exporting game trophies of any endangered or otherwise protected animal anywhere in the world aboard their aircraft.
Update (18 Nov 2017): Trump has suspended the decision, pending a thorough review of the consequences.